HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) — Officials in Henderson County are urging residents to be aware of the clear and present fire dangers that have persisted throughout the county for more than a month.

The county has reported that there have been a series of recent wildfires, totaling 44 in the past week alone, according to Fire Marshal Shane Renberg. Since June 1, there have been 153 within the county.

The Texas Forest Service (TFS) said that Henderson County remains critically dry and that fires could very well continue into next week.

“The fire environment through early next week will support moderate to high initial attack fire potential in a wide range of fuel types,” the TFS Fire Potential Update for July 7-13 said. “Underlying drought and low fuel moisture are increasing the risk of initial attack fires escaping containment as larger diameter surface fuel and ground fuel is burning more readily and holding heat longer.”

According to the Keetch-Bryam Drought Index, Henderson County reached 682 on Friday, which is substantially higher than the 575 threshold for setting a burn ban. The county has been under a burn ban since June 21, but residents need to stay aware of the situation and help to keep their neighbors safe.

Marshal Renberg said that “this is not the time to be burning  leaves, grass, brush and other yard trimmings. Please be aware that even small fires can get out of control quickly in this environment.”

Additionally, the TFS is also warning residents to be prepared for the days ahead.

“Now is the time for them to prepare their homes for wildfires,” said Matt Burnett, TFS Fire Coordinator. “If they have acreage, now is the time to disc in fire breaks, mow down overgrown pastures and make sure their addresses are clearly marked.