Rural homeowners and landowners need to do some work to try to make their property less vulnerable to wildfires as several have already broken out and the warmer, windier weather is just getting started.
“Folks might be wanting to get their lawn mowers out to keep the dry grass around their homes short, and ranchers will need to be checking their water supplies and fire suppression equipment,” said Ted McCollum, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in Amarillo.
Nobody wants a repeat of March 2006 when about 700,000 acres went up in smoke in the Texas Panhandle during 14 wildfires.
Potter County saw 1,750-acres burn on Feb. 1, Hall County had a 300-acre fire a few days later and then firefighters battled a 4,000-acre fire in Hartley County, according to reports from the Texas A&M Forest Service.
Some specific actions include creating an evacuation plan for people and animals; putting fire extinguishers in barns, vehicles and tractors; clearing combustible materials; checking for adequate water and parking tractors and implements away from combustible materials like hay and fuel storage containers, according to a news release.
For a detailed list of wildfire-related documents concerning preparation, mitigation and recovery, go
On top of increasing fire danger by growing more grass to burn, the rains in 2015 set the region up for a heavy weed season.
The rains made for more weeds that shed seeds just waiting to sprout, said
Jourdan Bell, Texas
A&M AgriLife Extension
Service agronomist in Amarillo.
“We need to be proactive…