Wildfire warning for Austin and the Hill Country this weekend

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The Texas Forest Service said conditions are favorable for wildfire outbreaks west of Interstate 35.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Forest Service has issued a warning for this weekend that wildfires could break out anywhere from Fort Worth to San Antonio.

Austin and the Hill Country – with an extraordinary number of days with triple-digit high temperatures – are particularly vulnerable. With the drying of vegetation, the more likely a simple spark can create an inferno.

“The things we don’t always think about can cause a wildfire,” said Erin O’Connor with the Texas Forest Service at Texas A&M University. “Pulling over on the side of the road in a patch of grass or weeds can start a fire, and so can people towing a boat on a trailer and dragging a chain can cause sparks that ignite any weeds or dry grass that’s nearby.”

RELATED: Burn ban in effect for Williamson, Travis, Hays and Bastrop counties

O’Connor said even residential areas surrounded by brush and trees like those in western Travis County and around the Highland Lakes are at risk from a brush fire that can quickly consume a home.

“We recommend having very little vegetation within about 30 feet of your home,” she said.

The forest service said that since the beginning of the year, there have been nearly 4,000 wildfires across Texas, including 90 over the past week.


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