Elevated to near critical fire weather conditions are likely today over much of Central and South Texas today due to the gusty northerly winds combining with relative humidity in the teens. Sustained winds of 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph will prevail across East Texas and this combined with relative humidity in the 15 to 20 percent range will create elevated to critical fire weather this afternoon.
· Yesterday (Thursday, April 14), Texas Forest Service responded to nine fires burning 10,286 acres.
· The South Fork Fire (Shelby County) was contained at 145 acres. The Killough Fire (Garza County) was contained at 54,000 acres, and the Camp Bowie Fire (Brown County) was contained at 3,355 acres.
· In the past seven days TFS has responded to 78 fires burning 460,850 acres.
· 195 Texas counties are reporting burn bans (view map).
New large fires from Thursday:
FRYING PAN RANCH, Andrews County. 10,000 acres, 10 percent contained. This fire is located 25 miles northwest of Andrews, with rapid movement to the east. Fifty homes are threatened.
Uncontained fires from previous days:
COOPER MOUNTAIN RANCH, Kent County. 50,000 acres, 25 percent contained. This fire made a major run last night; with wind 50 to 60 mph the fire was pushed 15 miles in less than 3 hours. The entire city of Rotan was evacuated, the fire continues to burn east and southeast towards Roby and Hamlin. TFS task forces and Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike teams are actively fighting this fire.
PK WEST, Stephens County. 10,000 acres, no containment. This fire is west of Possum Kingdom Lake. 200 homes are threatened and 30 have been destroyed. TFS task forces and two TIFMAS strike teams are actively fighting this fire. National Guard Blackhawk helicopters have been requested to assist.
WILDCAT, Coke County. 20,000 acres, no containment. This fire is 19 miles southwest of Bronte. 75 homes threatened and evacuated.
HOHERTZ, Palo Pinto County. 2,450 acres, unknown containment. Twenty homes threatened.
ROCKHOUSE, Presidio and Jeff Davis counties. 164,815 acres, 70 percent contained. Thirty-four homes and two businesses were destroyed in the Fort Davis area. Eight TIFMAS Type 1 engines and four tenders are assisting with the fire, as well as numerous air tankers and helicopters. A base camp for hundreds of firefighters has been set up at the Fort Davis State Park.
McPHERSON, Sutton County. 800 acres, 30 percent containment. The fire is located 20 miles southwest of Sonora.
CANNON FIRE COMPLEX, Pecos County. CANNON, Pecos County – 9,248 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is burning 50 miles east of Fort Stockton. SMOKEY MTN – Burned into the Cannon Fire, acreage is combined. DRH, Pecos County – 18,412 acres, 90 percent containment. One home was threatened and saved. This fire is burning 50 miles east of Fort Stockton. LITTLE SMOKEY – 6,093 acres, 20 percent containment. This fire is burning 7 miles west of Sheffield. No evacuations or losses. Interstate 10 was temporarily closed. Heavy air tankers have been ordered for this complex.
POST OAK, Hardin County. 796 acres, 90 percent contained. Four homes and four outbuildings threatened. The fire is 11 miles northwest of Kountze.
LUCAS, Stephens County. 300 acres, 90 percent containment. Multiple structures were evacuated. The fire is located 12 miles southeast of Breckenridge.
SWENSON, Stonewall, King, and Knox counties. 103,394 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning three miles north of Swenson.
SCHEZZOW, Kerr County. 400 acres, 90 percent contained. Two structures were threatened and saved; one outbuilding, one vehicle and one bobcat skid-steer were lost. The fire is located 22 miles west of Kerrville.
ENCINO, Tom Green County. 12,659 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is 13 miles west of San Angelo. Ten homes threatened and saved. Two homes were threatened and received damaged.
HICKMAN, Midland County. 16,500 acres, 98 percent contained. 34 homes were destroyed, 62 homes were damaged on this fire south of Midland.
· Obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Texas.
· Keep lawn mowers and agricultural equipment in proper working condition and avoid rocks and other materials which might cause a spark.
· To report suspicious activities, call the Arson Hotline at (888) 501-3850. If possible, safely obtain an accurate description of the person and/or vehicle (including the license number) before calling the hotline.
· Humans cause more than 90 percent of all wildfires. Do not weld or cut without a spotter, a water source and a shovel.