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Rain may increase winter wildfire chances

By Chelsea Humphrey, chumphrey@ktxs.com
Published On: Oct 09 2012 06:14:16 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

September showers put much needed moisture back into the ground but that could mean a higher wildfire risk this winter.

Plants across the area are greening up thanks to the several inches of rain that fell just weeks ago.

Over the next few weeks, though, they could begin to dry out creating an abundant fuel load.

Fuels can be any type of vegetation that is able to burn.

Jimmy Hall, E.C.C.A. FD Fire Chief, explains that the rain brings an inherent fire danger by spurring growth. Once the growth begins to dry out and die, the wildfire risk increases.

Texas has a nearly year-round wildfire season but there are differences in risks from season to season.

For example, vegetation often takes longer to die off in the winter but there is more of it.

The rain does offer firefighters some downtime to perform needed maintenance and upkeep while allowing them to gear up for what may be an active wildfire season.