Prevent Wildfires this Fourth of July as Hot and Dry Conditions Persist

Date:

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—As Texans make plans to celebrate the Fourth of July, Texas A&M Forest Service encourages everyone to be careful with any outdoor activity that may cause a spark.

Approximately 90% of wildfires are caused by humans and their activities, and the Fourth of July is one of the top days for reported wildfires.

Texas A&M Forest Service and local fire officials advise the public to be aware of the very warm and dry conditions that may contribute to wildfire activity as the holiday approaches. While large, resistant wildfires are not expected, little to no rainfall has fallen across north and northeast Texas since early June. Hot and dry weather conditions reduce the moisture content in grass and woody vegetation, which increases the potential for wildfire ignitions.

“As we start to observe typical summer weather with conditions becoming hotter and drier, we anticipate wildfire activity to increase,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “State and local firefighters are prepared to respond quickly but we need Texans to be careful and prevent wildfire ignitions while conditions are hot and dry.”

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public show hosted by professionals. If you plan to set off your own fireworks:

  • Always check for and comply with local government officials’ burn bans or other restrictions.
  • Read and follow all warnings and instruction labels on fireworks.
  • Use fireworks only under close adult supervision and in safe areas away from structures, dry grass, and brush.
  • Keep a hose, bucket of water, and wet towels nearby in case of a malfunction or fire.
  • Dispose of used fireworks in a bucket of water.
  • Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.

To help prevent wildfires during hot and dry conditions:

  • Avoid parking and idling in tall, dry grass. Catalytic converters can get hot enough to ignite the grass under a vehicle.
  • Ensure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from your vehicle—they throw sparks.
  • Avoid placing your grill near flammable vegetation or materials, never leave your grill unattended, and ensure coals are completely extinguished when you are done.

Burn bans and fireworks restrictions are determined by county governments. Texas A&M Forest Service does not determine, set or lift these restrictions. For information on burn bans, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/burnbans/.

For additional wildfire prevention tips, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/summerwildfires/.

Lee Miller
Lee Miller was born in Denison, TX and grew up in East Texas with his family. He studied music education at Stephen F. Austin State University taking a job in television on his last day of student teaching. Lee also provides business authoritative expertise to the broadcast industry as a consultant. Presently he is CEO of MSG Resources LLC, which specializes in consulting within broadcast best practices, distribution technologies and media strategy mastery. - - - - - Lee Miller is a well-known veteran of the broadcast media industry with particular experience in leading for-profit and non-profit broadcasting organizations. His career began in Lufkin, Texas in the early 80’s where he progressed from studio operations to creative services and network management. Mr. Miller has since received various professional designations and memberships such as Society of Broadcast Engineers accredited frequency coordinator, The Energy Professionals Association Certified Energy Consultant, and National Religious Broadcasters Television Committee & past Chair. Lee also serves as the Executive Director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, is a member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee and is proud to be part of Texas Association of Broadcasters Golden Mic Club, highlighting extraordinary careers in broadcasting. Continued engagement with his community is at the core of his business practices serving on the board of the Salvation Army and as keyboardist for the contemporary worship band at Harmony Hill Baptist Church. Lee lives near Lufkin Texas on one of his family’s tree farms located in the Texas Forest Country region north of Houston. He is married to Kenla and has two grown children, Joshua, COO of MSGPR Ltd Co and Morgan, a Critical Care ICU RN.

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