Houston Matters

Cost, Damage & Risk of Wildfires in Texas

Early this month, the Texas Panhandle was hit by three large wildfires that covered hundreds of square miles, causing five deaths with two more in other states and considerable loss of property and livestock. While, the number of wildfires in the US fluctuates from year to year, the number of acres burned in these fires […]

Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaEarly this month, the Texas Panhandle was hit by three large wildfires that covered hundreds of square miles, causing five deaths with two more in other states and considerable loss of property and livestock.

While, the number of wildfires in the US fluctuates from year to year, the number of acres burned in these fires is on the rise — with more than 10 million acres burned in 2015, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center.

We talk with Tom Spencer, the head of the Predictive Services Department for the Texas A&M Forest Service, about how fires like this get started and where and how Texas might be at risk for them in the future.

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