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Red flag warnings issued by Texas Forest Service

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March 24, 2011 – Red flag warnings – cautioning conditions ideal for wildland fire ignition – were issued today for North Central Texas, including the cities of Mineral Wells, Comanche, Lampasas and Temple. Areas to the east, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Denton, Hillsboro, Waco and Palestine, could experience high fire danger.

Texas Forest Service officials say the prediction is based on a combination of high winds, low relative humidity and high temperatures – an occurrence Texans can expect to see frequently for the next couple of months.

When red flag conditions exist, wildfire can spread at a rate of 4 mph, the equivalent of wildfire burning the length of a football field in one minute. Additionally, flame lengths in grass could reach 12 to 14 feet, or the equivalent of a one-story building.

Texas Forest Service has staged resources – including bulldozers, fire engines and aircraft – to respond to the potential threat today.

In the past seven days alone, Texas Forest Service has responded to 72 fires burning 2,298 acres. Of Texas’ 254 counties, 177 are reporting burn bans.

Several recent fires have been caused by outdoor debris burning. Residents throughout the state of Texas should avoid outdoor activities that could generate a spark or open flames. Clear combustible materials away from your home and refrain from outdoor burning until the fire threat decreases and burn bans are lifted.

Families should discuss a plan for evacuation and monitor the current wildfire situation through the Texas Forest Service website.

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