west texas wildfires

Photo courtesy of the Austin Fire Department

The Texas Forest Service says the last team of out-of-state firefighters is scheduled to leave tomorrow, as the number of active wildfires across Texas shrinks. 

“It has really scaled back quite a bit. Right now, today we’re working on one 500-acre fire in West Texas, but that’s the only major one we are on right now. A few weeks ago we had 20 or more going at a time,” Forest Service spokeswoman April Saginor told KUT News.

Photo by NASA Earth Observatory

As large wildfires in Texas grab most of the US media's attention, a large piece of sparely populated land is being scorched by flames in Northern Mexico.  The fires, named El Bonito and La Sabina, are among the largest in Mexican history. More than 493,827 acres have been scorched since mid-March, the Latin American Herald Tribune reports.

Photo courtesy of Austin firefighter Jimmy Taylor.

Red Flag Warning as Texas Wildfires Continue Burning

A red flag warning is in effect in Central Texas until 7 p.m today.  Dry, windy conditions, coupled with low humidity, mean any outdoor fires would spread quickly.  Firefighters are still battling blazes across the state including one of the biggest ones in West Texas, the Rockhouse fire.  It's burned 166,000 acres in the Ft. Davis area.  You can keep track of the state's wildfire situation with updates from the Texas Forest Service here.

Photo courtesy Firefighter Jimmy Taylor, Austin Fire Department

After a tour of West Texas ranches and rangeland burned by wildfires, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has set up a public donation fund to help ranchers whose land has been devastated.  He said the State of Texas Agricultural Relief Fund, or STAR Fund, is the best place to donate and give help.

Large wildfires erupted yesterday in Brewster and Angelina counties, adding to the 309,500 acres of wildfires the Texas Forest Service has battled over the last week. A Garland-based company called Sky Helicopters posted the video above to YouTube. 

Photo by TexasEagle http://www.flickr.com/photos/texaseagle/

Here's the latest information from the Texas Forest Service as it struggles to contain wildfires that have already blackened 309,500 acres. This report was circulated to media this morning. We present it to you in its entirety.

Monday, April 11, 2011
National Preparedness Level: 1
Southern Area Preparedness Level: 3
TFS Preparedness Level: 5


Yesterday Texas Forest Service responded to 12 fires for 22,432 acres, including new large fires in Brewster and Angelina counties.  In the past seven days TFS has responded to 83 fires for 309,526 acres. 

Photo by cmh2315fl http://www.flickr.com/photos/21953562@N07/

As wildfires tear across West Texas and leave a 309,500 acre path of scorched earth, the drought situation here in Central Texas is becoming increasingly dangerous. Patches of the region are experiencing the most intense drought conditions classified by the US Drought Monitor.  

"We're extremely dry, and because of that our fire danger has really gone up," Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist Bob Rose told KUT News. "It's one of the driest six month periods on records."