SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Fire Marshal is urging people not to start fires accidentally or on purpose while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott readies emergency response teams ahead of a blustery cold front that brings with it a high risk of fires.
Saturday’s cold front will bring gusty winds and low humidity and combined with current drought conditions, the risk of wildfires is very high.
“We know that conditions are dangerous and fire will easily ignite from two fires our Emergency Services Districts and other area fire departments fought only yesterday. Folks need to take this very seriously. If we have brush or grass ignite in these types of weather scenarios, firefighting efforts will be very challenging,” said Bexar County Fire Marshal Chris Lopez.
The fire marshal offered the following tips for minimizing fire risks:
- Avoid using welding or grinding equipment near weeds and grass.
- If you must work outdoors with equipment that gets hot, please keep a fire extinguisher and water close by.
- Avoid parking vehicles in tall, dry grass and weeds that could ignite from the heat of catalytic converters.
- When in your vehicle, crush smoking materials in your ashtray and make sure they are out.
- Never toss a cigarette out of a car window.
On Friday, Gov. Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to be ready for critical fire weather over the next week.
“Additional resources have been readied ahead of elevated critical fire weather conditions across our state and Texas is fully prepared to address any potential wildfires in the coming days,” Abbott said. “As we continue to monitor the weather and communicate with local partners, Texans are encouraged to follow the guidance of their community officials and other emergency response personnel.”
The governor’s office said the following resources have been deployed by the Texas A&M Forest Service:
- 2 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike teams, including 33 firefighters and 10 fire engines
- 2 large air tankers
- 3 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATS)
- 2 air attack aerial supervision aircraft and a lead plane
- 19 dozers, 4 engines and 11 incident commanders from Texas A&M Forest Service are prepositioned in areas of concern should they be needed
- 2 Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) Wildland Support Units are on standby to be deployed if necessary