from the Texas Forest Service
DOLLY COULD FAN FLAMES
July 22, 2008--COLLEGE STATION, Texas--While the citizens of South Texas worry about possible flooding associated with Hurricane Dolly, firefighters in most of the state worry that winds associated with Dolly could lead to increased wildfire activity and/or fan the flames of any wildfires that arise.
Rainfall associated with Dolly is expected to be limited to Deep South Texas and within a short distance from the Texas coast. Strong, gusty winds, however, are expected to extend across much of the state where little or no precipitation is expected.
Combined with extremely dry fuels in much of Texas, the higher winds are expected to create conditions favorable for rapid wildfire spread and increased danger for firefighters, said Hunter Wistrand, operations chief for the Texas wildfire suppression team in Granbury.
“With hot, dry conditions expected across most of the state for an extended period, Texas residents must use all possible precautions to prevent accidental fires from occurring,” said Wistrand. “All firefighting personnel must also take extra precautions to ensure their own safety during firefighting operations.”
Wildfires pose a very real threat to lives, homes and communities in addition to natural resources; they also bring heightened risks of heat-related injuries to firefighters working for extended hours in the hot, dry conditions. “For both the public’s safety and that of the firefighters working to protect them, public cooperation is absolutely essential to prevent additional wildfires from occurring,” said Wistrand.
For more information on wildfire prevention visit http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/main/article.aspx?id=1542.