Wednesday, August 9

Welcome to the 17th straight day of 100+ degree temperatures in Deep East Texas. If we continue with daily triple-digit heat through August 19, we will break the record of 26 straight days set in 2011. Perhaps I should have used the word 'when' instead of 'if' since many extended forecasts show the Pineywoods to continue with 100-degree days well into mid-August.

What We Need

That's an easy one...we need cooler temperatures and we need rain. For the year, we are only off our rainfall average by 0.3 inches. But, for the summer, we are about 6 inches below our norm for this 2nd week of August.

Those extended forecasts I mentioned earlier show the possibility of some rain in Deep East Texas on August 14 and 15. I'll probably wash my truck and schedule a yard sale on those dates just to increase the chances.

What We Don't Need

The increasingly dry conditions along with the baking heat has prompted all the county leaders in the Pineywoods to issue burn bans.

Texas A&M Forest Service
Texas A&M Forest Service

The fire danger rating for most of Deep East Texas is labeled as very high by the Texas A&M Forest Service.

Texas A&M Forest Service
Texas A&M Forest Service

One weather element that would heighten the danger of a wildfire outbreak is forecast to happen throughout the remainder of this week. Off and on gusty winds are expected to drop into our area for the next several days. Peaks gusts of 25-30 mph are forecast to happen during the overnight hours.

Strong winds blowing over a parched landscape is a powder keg scenario for a wildfire outbreak. A Red Flag Warning has already been posted for Wednesday over the Brazos Valley, and I wouldn't be surprised for one to be issued for parts of the Pineywoods before the week is out.

Be Extra Careful

If you're mowing the yard or taking the tractor through pasture, that hot engine could easily ignite the crunchy grass. Don't throw your spent cigarettes out your vehicle's window. Numerous firefighters have put their lives on the line because someone didn't care enough to think of others.

A burn ban is not a suggestion. The number one cause of wildfires in Texas is the careless burning of debris. All it takes is one unnoticeable ember to float through the air and make contact with some dry weeds.

7 Unsuspecting Items That May Spark Texas Wildfires

With extremely dry conditions across the state, the following everyday items that may accidentally spark a fire.