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Texas A&M Forest Service Releases Winter Wildfire Forecast

El Nino is creating cooler, moister conditions across Texas, but that doesn’t eliminate the threat of wildfires.


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Researchers say El Nino is creating cooler, moister conditions across Texas, but that doesn't eliminate the threat of wildfires. The forecast shows a higher risk of grass fires this season.

Tom Spencer is with the Texas A&M Forest Service. He says recent rain has led to higher grass growth across the state.

"And it's that extra loading — regardless of the moist conditions — that will still provide us with opportunities for fires," Spencer says.

Spencer says wildfires can also burn on top of wet ground where tall grass is present. Muddy areas like those are harder to access, which could make the fires more difficult to control.

Stuart Coombs is a specialist in Wildland Urban Interface, or areas where wilderness meets development. That's where wildfires often do the most damage. But Coombs says residents can take precautions to protect their homes.

"Things such as stacking firewood away from the home, removing brush, limiting vegetation, simple ways that the homeowner can limit wildfire spread if a wildfire was to occur," Coombs says.

Coombs also advises residents to mow their lawns regularly.

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