RUSK COUNTY, Texas (KETK) — The lack of rain has caused wildfires to break out in parts of East Texas. Rusk County fire officials have responded to 2-3 wildfires a day since the burn ban was lifted three weeks ago.
The biggest fire so far was 11 acres on Wednesday.
“The fires have started by unattended burning and that’s one of the things that’s critical for safe burning is to make sure you are watching and monitoring your fire,” said Rusk County Fire Marshall Linder.
The extreme heat, dry weather and wind are causing small fires to get out of hand, so the fire marshall is urging the community to practice fire safety and possibly stop burning for the time being.
“Maybe hold off on burning on some of these hot dry days,” said Linder.
The Texas A&M Forest Service and the National Weather Service is closely monitoring for drought conditions. The recent rain has helped, but the ground is starting to get too dry.
“Our fire potential has definitely increased over the last couple of weeks with it kind of being warmer and dryer,” Sean Dungun, Texas A&M Forest Service.
The humidity adds to the temperature but the moisture helps prevent fires from spreading.
“Days here it’s at 60-70% humidity and it’s really hot or whatnot, our fire potential decreases, so that’s good for wildfires,” said Dugan.
Although the burn ban is lifted, safety and caution are still the number one priority.