290 Wildfires Scorch Texas

COLLEGE STATION (March 7, 2011)—Extreme fire weather conditions are possible Tuesday in most of the western half of Texas, especially south of Interstate 40 and west of Interstate 35 from San Antonio to Del Rio, the Texas Forest Service said Monday.

The combination of gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity creates ideal conditions for explosive wildfires, the Forest Service said.

“It all points to Tuesday being a day of great concern,” National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Murdoch said.

The Forest Service has positioned resources to respond to the threat.

“Plans are in place as we prepare for another significant fire day,” said Mark Stanford, fire operations chief for Texas Forest Service.

“We staff and respond based on risk, not occurrence.”

So far in 2011, the state has responded to nearly 290 fires that have scorched nearly 200,000 acres, destroying about 280 buildings.