Texans should stay prepared as extreme wildfire danger increases, Texas A&M Forest Service

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The wildfires that have scorched the Panhandle may be getting under control, but the Texas A&M Forest Service is urging everyone to be prepared for the next time fires get out of control.

Extremely critical fire weather conditions are expected to be widespread in the Texas Panhandle tomorrow near Amarillo, Borger, Canadian, Childress, Lubbock, Pampa and Perryton.

High winds, above normal temperatures and low humidity will align with dry grass vegetation across the area and may result in large wildfires that are difficult to control.

A Southern Plains Wildfire Outbreak may develop under these conditions. Any wildfire that ignites in dry grass could have forward rates of spread up to 3-5 miles per hour. Forward progress of wildfires may not be stopped until the fire burns into a large barrier, such as an agricultural field or heavily grazed area.

Evacuations may be necessary under these conditions.

Texas A&M Forest Service urges Texans to have an evacuation plan that can be used during a wildfire or other disaster.

“With recent wildfire activity and wildfire potential, we have strategically positioned personnel, equipment and aircraft in areas at risk,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “This also means Texans should prepare themselves in case of an emergency.”

When planning for an evacuation consider the needs of every person and animal in your home. Be sure to update your plan regularly to include seasonal changes, the needs of children as they grow and any updates to insurance or medications.

“Don’t wait for an emergency to occur to start planning for it,” said Moorehead. “Be informed about the risk in your area, monitor conditions, stay vigilant for mobile text alerts and ensure that you are prepared.”

Some tips to help you get started in your evacuation planning include:

  • Assemble a Go Kit that meets the needs of all family members and start with the five P’s:
    • People and Pets – plan for the whole family, including pets and livestock
    • Prescriptions – bring extra medication, eyeglasses, hearing aids and medical equipment including necessary batteries and power cords
    • Papers – include copies of insurance information, phone numbers and other important documents
    • Personal needs – pack personal items including clothes, food, water, toiletries, first aid kit, cash, computers/tablets, phones, chargers and sanitation supplies
    • Priceless items – include items of sentimental value, such as pictures, heirlooms and irreplaceable memorabilia.
  • Identify at least two evacuation routes, in case one is impacted, and save them in a navigation system or phone.
  • Practice your evacuation plan. Locate and load your Go Kit into your vehicle and drive your evacuation routes. Include all individuals at your home in this drill and ensure they are confident with the plan.
  • Work with your local emergency responders. Learn what to expect, how you will be notified during an emergency and determine if you need to register for a notification service.

For more information about potential wildfires, click here.

 

More about: