Fire conditions in San Antonio to be ‘critical’ through weekend

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Dry air has settled over Texas causing critical chances for fires in the San Antonio area through Sunday.

The dry air combined with gusting winds and dried-out vegetation are cause for fire concern.

Bexar County spokesman Tom Peine said local residents should not be engaging in any sort of outdoor burning while fire conditions are heightened.

“The chance for a fire starting and spreading rapidly are vastly increased during weather events like those that are in the forecast,” Peine said.

The heightened chance for fires comes a week after the San Antonio Fire Department said seven residents have died in fires so far this year. 11 people total died in fires in 2021, officials said.

The department offered some tips to help residents avoid unintentionally starting fires that include not using law mowers on dry vegetation during heightened fire conditions, keeping lawns green and mowed, soaking ashes and charcoal from sources like barbecue grills to avoid them reigniting even days later.

Officials said that residents should create at least 100 feet of “defensible space” around homes by removing leaves, weeds, brush, firewood and flammables like law mowers, gas cans and patio furniture. Home owners should also clean roofs and gutters of leaves, pine needs and other flammable vegetation.

Wildfires are at risk of starting when residents throw used cigarettes and matches out of windows in addition to simply parking cars on dry grass or hauling trailers with chains hanging to the ground.

The National Weather Service reports a chance of rain and thunderstorms is in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday, but that will only provide “temporary drought relief.”

An early morning fire destroyed a 73-year-old restaurant on the Northwest side Thursday. Officials do not know the cause of the fire at this time.

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