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Windy Conditions Heighten Fire Danger

Bastrop Co. Wildfire 006.jpg
Photo by KUT News
Texas forestry officials warn that high winds and low humidity could make wildfires harder to control today.

Breezy, dry conditions are setting up increased fire danger across Central Texas.  The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the region through 4:00 p.m. today.

Sunday, windswept wildfires in West Texas scorched a total of 120,000 acres, destroyed at least 80 homes and resulted in the death of one person.

"The same system that affected West Texas yesterday has moved down to South Texas, Austin down to the Valley.  But the conditions won't be as extreme as they were over West Texas and the Panhandle yesterday," said Mark Stanford with the Texas Forest Service.

Most Central Texas counties have burn bans in place already, but Stanford also warns people not to drive their cars or trucks into grassy areas.  The heat from the vehicle's catalytic converter would be enough to ignite a fire that could grow very quickly in these conditions.

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon. During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.