Breezy conditions this week increases our risk of fire danger

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The last week of April has not only brought a roller-coaster of temperatures but now most of the state is dealing with an elevated risk for fire danger.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, most of Central Texas is under a “moderate” fire danger. As for West Central Texas, West Texas and the Panhandle, conditions are ranging from “high” to “extreme” fire danger. This map below is also produced by the National Fire Danger Rating System.

Photo courtesy of the Texas A&M Forest Service.

This is all thanks to increasing wind speeds combining with decreasing humidity, especially on Wednesday. This means that even the smallest brush fire could spread rapidly. Our wind forecast for Wednesday is continuing to show not only a breezy set up Wednesday afternoon (winds gusting near 20-30 mph), but they’ll also be bringing in very warm and dry air out of the west, dropping humidity levels.

Remember, fire danger is completely different than our drought status, which all of Central Texas is currently free from, but that wasn’t the case just six years ago.

This week in April back in 2011, the Austin metro area was dealing with “extreme drought” conditions which are depicted in the bright red color below, with even worse “exceptional” drought the dark, maroon color, which took over parts of our eastern counties at that time.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Parts of our area are slightly below average in rainfall for the month of April. In Austin, Camp Mabry is sitting 0.48″ below normal for the month, and -0.80″ at ABIA.

For more information on our drought status, visit: U.S. Drought Monitor.

To keep up with the fire danger forecast across Texas, visit: Texas A&M Forest Service or the National Fire Danger Rating System.

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