Thursday, February 29, 2024
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texas forest service update

Current situation:

· Yesterday Texas Forest Service responded to 24 new fires for 1,154 acres.

· In the past seven days Texas Forest Service has responded to 179 fires for 170,686 acres.

· 250 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.

· Daily detailed fire information can be found here or at

New large fires from yesterday (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels; or where homes were lost):


Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):

BASTROP COUNTY COMPLEX, Bastrop County. 34,068 acres, 30 percent contained. Forward progression of the fire has stopped. Crews and equipment continue to protect homes within the perimeter. There is no fire burning outside the main containment lines. The 719-acre Union Chapel Fire is now included in this complex and is being managed by the Southern Area Type I Incident Management Team. An assessment team has confirmed 1,386 homes have been destroyed on the main fire, with 28 lost on the Union Chapel Fire. Two civilians were found dead Tuesday as search crews went through the charred subdivisions.

BEAR CREEK (#536), Cass County. 49,997 acres, 30 percent contained. The fire is burning very actively in heavy timber and is threatening numerous houses. Scoopers, heavy airtankers, and Texas Intrastate Mutual Aid Fire System engines are assisting. Twenty-four homes have been destroyed just southeast of Linden. A Type 1 Incident Management Team is assisting with management of the fire.

RILEY ROAD, Grimes/Montgomery/Waller counties. 21,269 acres, 30 percent contained. Active fire behavior was observed yesterday as the fire continued to move south. The DC-10 airtanker dropped five loads of retardant yesterday for a total of more than 67,000 gallons. Approximately 58 homes have been destroyed on this fire burning just west of Magnolia.

PEDERNALES BEND (Spicewood), Travis County. 6,500 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning 4 miles southeast of Spicewood. Sixty-seven homes were destroyed.

DAM, Hill County. 523 acres, 85 percent contained. Seven homes were lost on this fire yesterday.

DELHI, Caldwell County. 6,000 acres, 90 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved and six were lost on this fire east of Lockhart.

DIANA (#545), Upshur County. 650 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire is burning in grass and timber. Twenty homes are threatened. No new information was received.

BONBIEW RANCH, Van Zandt County. 350 acres, 80 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved southeast of Canton. No new information was received.

BOOT WALKER (#553), Marion County. 1,047 acres, unknown containment. A wind shift to the south could threaten 30 homes. Access to the fire is limited.

#502, Nacogdoches and Cherokee counties. 4,000 acres, 90 percent contained. MODIS satellite shows the fire may be approximately 9,000 acres. More than a dozen homes have been evacuated, but none lost.

ARBOR, Houston County. 3,000 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning in timber. Up to 15 homes are reported lost.

OLD MAGNOLIA, Gregg County. 3,341 acres, 80 percent contained. Several structures and a gas plant are threatened. No new information was received.

101 RANCH, Palo Pinto County. 6,555 acres, 85 percent contained. The fire is burning on the south side of Possum Kingdom Lake near the town of Brad. Thirty-nine homes and nine RVs have been reported destroyed. Crews continue to mop up and aircraft are monitoring.

Weather Outlook:

A surface ridge of dry high pressure will maintain a dry airmass and northerly component to the flow over much of the Lone Star state into Sunday. Among the driest locations in the state today will be near the Interstate 35 corridor, where winds should again be around 10 mph sustained for a few hours from late morning into the afternoon, with gusts up to the 15 to 20 mph range possible during that time. Relative humidities will be similar to yesterday afternoon, with minimum relative humidity below 20 percent across much of the state.

High temperatures will range in the 80s and 90s in most places, but will exceed 100 over some parts of Deep South Texas. Poor overnight recoveries will continue for areas away from the coast, especially locations west of Interstate 35. Very dry conditions will continue with north to northwesterly winds. North to northwest winds increasing to 10-15 mph with gusts of 18-25 mph will be possible across most of the East Branch except the far southeast. Afternoon humidity falls to 10-15 percent. Mostly sunny skies will prevail with afternoon highs 90-96. A late afternoon sea breeze will creep inland but likely will be limited to areas south of the Interstate 10 corridor during daylight hours. Expect poor to moderate overnight recoveries 45-55 percent in the northwest to 60-85 percent in the east and south.

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