Houston Weather: What you need to know about the potential fire hazard in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – A fire weather warning, or red flag warning, in the city of Houston has been extended until 7 p.m. Friday.

This means that the dry and windy conditions could make it easy for wildfires to spread easily and quickly.

Travis Herzog, ABC13’s chief meteorologist, said about 90% of Texas’ wildfires are man-made and there are steps you can take to protect your home and community.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, dry and windy conditions are causing a gradual increase in wildfire activity across Texas, and more resources are being added in areas of concern in west and south Texas to effectively respond to new wildfires that may arise due to wildfires these conditions.

“It’s a multitude of factors,” said Matthew Ford, a wildland-urban interface specialist at Texas A&M Forest Service. “We have dry winds. We have drying out vegetation. We also have conditions that are historically typical of La Nina conditions that bring a lot of that dry humidity and we’re not only seeing the temperatures a little bit above normal, but also that the relative humidity has dropped and has subsided so that the conditions we have seen over the past several years are simply reappearing.

There are ways people can help reduce the risk of wildfires, including trimming the trees and low-hanging branches, creating 30 feet of defensible space around your home by watering regularly and spacing out your plants, and stay weather aware

“As for the rest of this year, spring is really critical,” Herzog said. “If we miss the spring rains, as we did in 2011, which is one of the most extreme droughts we’ve had, it leads to extreme summer heat. There’s this feedback cycle that it’s so hot and so dry that it dries things even more.” It just takes the fire to start and the wind to get going and you can see rapid growth .

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Dais Johnston

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