Through June of this year, wildfires burned more than 400,000 acres in Texas. That’s more than twice as many acres as in all of 2021. The Eastland Complex fire burned more than 54,000 acres, making it Texas’ largest wildfire to date.
Wildfires can destroy homes, barns, businesses and livestock and endanger residents and firefighters.
One of the worst things about wildfires is that most are preventable.
Although some wildfires are caused by lightning, nearly 85% are human-caused, according to the National Park Service. Many times, wildfires occur when campfires are left unattended, debris is burned improperly or cigarettes are carelessly discarded.
By taking a few extra precautions, we can do our part to prevent wildfires:
- Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure you completely extinguish the fire when you’re done. Drench the fire with water and stir the ashes until they’re cold.
- Play it safe when using fueled lanterns, heaters and stoves. Lighting and heating devices should be cool before refueling. Keep flammable liquids and fuel away from appliances.
- Never discard cigarettes, matches or smoking materials from moving vehicles or anywhere except into a fire-safe receptacle. Completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them.
- Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste, and don’t burn anything if there is a burn ban. Always avoid burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check.
- Keep dry brush and grass cleared around your home and outbuildings.
If you find yourself in the path of a wildfire, evacuate immediately. Listen to local emergency notifications for the most up-to-date information. Better yet, make a wildfire plan for you and your family before a fire occurs.
Visit ready.gov/wildfires for more information about wildfire safety and prevention.