Archer County Fires Claim Thousands of Acres
5,000 + acres have burned across parts of Archer County since Sunday. County commissioners are considering asking the governor for a disaster declaration. Fire officials said that, as of Tuesday morning, no serious injuries were reported and no lives had been lost, human or livestock. While that is certainly good news, volunteer fire departments remain on high alert.
Two great years of rain and vegetation growth have provided the fuel-rich environment for this round of fires. The Texas Forest Service jumped into action with a helicopter, dropping water on hot spots nearly around the clock on Sunday. Sunday's thunderstorms created their own hazards, with lightning attracted to the carbon-rich smoke produced by the fires and multiple wind shifts as the storms worked their way north and east.
Officials ask people to take special care during this time to help minimize the wildfire risk.
- Don't toss cigarette butts out of your car
- Be careful pulling off onto the roadside. A hot catalytic converter can quickly start a blaze if it comes into contact with tall grass and weeds.
- If you must do any outdoor work that could generate sparks or flames, be sure to have a fire extinguisher or at least a few gallons of water handy. A shovel to throw dirt on any fires that start would be a good idea, too.
The best advice, avoid any metal grinding, welding or torch cutting right now if you can. And, should you have a blowout, be mindful of rolling along the pavement on the rim. The metal on asphalt or concrete contact will generate sparks. Report any fires to 9-1-1 immediately.
Our area volunteer fire departments all depend on the generosity of our citizens to be able to respond to these fires. Fuel is especially in need at this time. If you can donate, now would be an excellent time to do so.