Texas wildfires spread as state sees record-breaking heat

Jeff Ehling Image
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Texas wildfires spread as state sees record-breaking heat
Officials said 99% of Texas is experiencing some level of drought. There are currently more than a dozen active wildfires.

Wildfires are a growing danger in Texas as the state sees record-breaking heat.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, 99% of the state is experiencing some level of drought and there are currently more than a dozen active wildfires.

We all know it is hot and dry. There are outdoor burn bans in almost every county in Texas.

"The wildfires in Palo Pinto, Somervell, and Walker counties occurred in high-risk fuel types, which can exhibit extreme fire behavior when critically dry and exposed to elevated or critical fire weather," Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Analyst Luke Kanclerz said. "In these fuels, resistance to control is often high and makes suppression efforts challenging for firefighters."

This map shows 15 active fires (in red). Some of these fires are well contained, but others are not.

Here are the active fires in the state as of Wednesday at 7:30 a.m., according to Texas A&M Forest Service:

  • Chalk Mountain Fire, Somervell County - est. 6,000 acres, 10% contained
  • East County Fire, Kaufman County - 500 acres, 40% contained
  • Weeber Fire, Milam County - 20 acres, 70% contained
  • West Bend Fire, Wichita County - 6,522 acres, 80% contained
  • Spinning Buffalo Fire, Castro County - 180 acres, 90% contained
  • Diamond Gate Fire, Coke County - 50 acres, 25% contained
  • Walnut Creek Fire, Bastrop County - 36.2 acres, 90% contained
  • Gregg 4074 Fire, Gregg County - 3.4 acres, 90% contained
  • Fire, Palo Pinto County - 500 acres, 10% contained
  • Nelson Creek Fire, Walker County - 1,852 acres, 80% contained
  • Stanifer Branch Fire, Bosque County - 160 acres, 80% contained
  • King Creek Fire, Kaufman County - 458 acres, 95% contained
  • Honey Creek Fire, Uvalde County - 273 acres, 60% contained
  • Nethery Road Fire, Kimble County - 3,262 acres, 90% contained
  • Salado Brook Fire, Williamson County - 46.8 acres, 75% contained

The Chalk Mountain Fire is about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth and is the largest wildfire in the state right now.

Meanwhile, another 21 wildfires were already extinguished so far this year.

According to Texas A&M, 214 Texas counties currently have burn bans including Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery, Walker, Wharton, and San Jacinto Counties.

Texas A&M said there is a significant risk of wildfires in east Texas, including the towns of Palestine, Crockett, Huntsville, Tyler, and Marshall.

"We have had some pretty significant wildfires over there for that area, 200 hundred acres is a pretty big wildfire for that area in the Pine Plantation, so we have seen a lot of upticks in things like that so yeah, a lot of activity for that side of the state." Juan Rodriguez with Texas A&M Forest Service said.

Firefighters across the state are doing what they can to stop these fires, including using aircraft and ground crews.

Forest Service officials said they have resources staged across Texas to quickly respond to fires.

If you see a wildfire, report it immediately. A quick response can save lives and property.

For current conditions and wildfire outlook, see the Texas Fire Potential Outlook.

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