SAN ANGELO, Texas – With several wildfires burning in the Concho Valley, KLST and KSAN news spoke with the Texas A&M Forest Service. The McDaniel fire in Coke County is presently around 3,600 acres and 50% contained. Crews have made more headway on the Arroyo Grande fire in Sutton County
“The Arroyo Grande fire down in Sutton County, is GPS’d at 6,006 acres with 90% containment,” said Robin Griffith, Wildlife Urban Interface Specialist with the Texas A&M Forest Service. “The crews that are on that fire are in mop up status which is where they are going around the containment lines, and putting out any hotspots.”
The Forest Service wants to stress the importance of being mindful not to accidentally be the cause of a major fire. Last fire season saw another dual-front wildfire response in the Concho Valley. Some prevention points they shared include –
- It is important that the public follows the news media, and heeds warnings from officials.
- Check for local Burn Bans and adhere to burn ban restrictions.
- Wildfires burning in grass can be fast moving fires. Stay out of the area and do not drive through the smoke. Move away from the fire
- There has been a significant increase in the number of roadside starts.
- Take care in securing trailer safety chains to avoid any contact with the roadway creating sparks that may ignite a wildfire.
- Maintain trailer brakes and wheel bearings in good repair to avoid catastrophic failures that can result in brake fires and/or emission of sparks and hot metal fragments that may cause wildfire ignitions along roadways.
- Avoid parking and idling in tall, dry grass. Catalytic Converters can get hot enough to ignite the grass under the vehicle.
- Avoid outdoor activities that can produce sparks such as mowing or shredding generate heat, such as welding, grinding or using cutting torches.
- When welding, cutting metal or grinding, clear the area of vegetation, have a firewatcher and a water source or fire extinguisher nearby.
- Check the bearings and overall condition of your agricultural equipment.
Texas A&M Forest Service has a new program for ranchers. The Texas Ranch Wildfire Program, which has helpful information and mapping tools to assist the rancher to map their ranch. This facilitates identifying items such as water sources, sensitives areas and develop management plans to reduce or mitigate loss from wildfires. For more, visit the Texas A&M Forest Service webpage.