Red Flag Warnings are issued by the United States National Weather Service and are used to communicate an increased probability for the occurance of quickly spreading vegetation fires. The Red Flag Warning becomes a critical statement for firefighting agencies which sometimes alter their staffing and equipment resources to accomodate the increased fire risk.
Burn Ban in Effect
Bexar County and surrounding areas are currently under a Burn Ban. Under the ban, residents in unincorporated Bexar County are prohibited from outdoor burning except when authorized by the Fire Marshal or in the event the ban is lifted by Commissioners Court. The order issued by Commissioners Court does allow for the burning of household trash or domestic waste materials so long as a burn barrel with a metal wire mesh screen is used to prevent the spread of sparks and flames. Other exceptions include firefighting training; public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; harvesting of agricultural crops and burns that are conducted by a prescribed burn manager.
Minimize the Potential for Starting a Wildfire
Utilizing common sense is always the best defense to ensure that you are not the cause of a wildfire. Pay attention to the following list of items which you might not typically think of while going through your daily activities:
Be aware that any spark can cause a wildfire.
Ensure there are no dragging chains when using a hitch. Dragging hitch chains often spark and can lead to a grass fire which quickly becomes uncontrollable.
Use caution when welding or grinding. Have a spotter watch for sparks.
Check bearings frequently on landscape/agricultural equipment and stop use if the equipement becomes too warm.
Remove loose grass/hay from around rollers - the friction can build up heat and start a fire.
Follow all governmental laws regarding fireworks.
Only use fireworks outdoors and away from dry grass and buildings.
Read labels and use only as directed and with adult supervision
Allow fireworks to cool completely before handling and discard used fireworks intoa bucket of water.
Use caution when your activity occurs within an area with dry vegetation. For example, you park your vehicle within a farm field when attending a festival.
Keep a fire extinguisher or water sprayer nearby in case a fire breaks out.
Wet down your work area.
Reconsider your activities when it is a windy day.
The following PDF documents are available for download under “Forms and Reports”, at right:
- Be Firewise Around Your Home: This document provides helpful guidelines for landscaping your property and utilizing construction materials which help minimize the risk of fire spreading to your home.
- Firewise Guide to Landscape and Construction: The primary goal for Firewise landscaping is fuel reduction - limiting the level of flammable vegetation and construction materials surrounding the home and increasing the moisture content of remaining vegetation.
- Outdoor Activites and Wildfires: Offers tips to ensure your outdoor activities don't cause wildfires.
- Don't Drive into Smoke on the Road: Provides helpful information to ensure you don'tmistakenly drive into a wildfire.
- Ready, Set, Go! Your Personal Wildfire Action Plan: One document which incorporates helpful hints on how to landscape your property and construct your home to minimize the spread of a nearby fire to your property. This document also provides information on what to do if your home is threatened by fireand how to develop an evacuation plan.
Wildfire Educational Websites
The following websites provide educational information regarding wildfires. Within these websites, you will be able to find wildfire forecast maps (updated daily), methods regarding how to help protect your home and family as well asevacuation procedures.
Fire Readyprovideslow impact techniques reduce your risk to wildfire while maintaining natural beauty and privacy screening.
To save lives and property from wildfire, NFPA's Firewise Communities program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses.
Texas Department of Public Safety
Provides information regarding wildfire safety. This website offers video of a firestorm as well as several PDF documents which offer wildfire safety tips.
Texas Forest Service
Texas Forest Service provides weather, hydrologic and climate forecasts and warnings. Visit this website for the latestinformation regardingfire danger and advisories.