Weather-Battered Texas Faces Wildfire Threat Weeks After Freeze

Weather-battered Texas is going from ice to fire as dry winds roaring out of the Great Plains stokes the risk of blazes, just weeks after a deep winter freeze.

Governor Greg Abbott has put fire fighting teams across Texas on alert after the U.S. Storm Prediction Center warned of a critical wildfire threat across in the western part of the state, as well as in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas.

“I urge Texans in these communities to heed the guidance of their local leaders and avoid any outdoor burning that could spark wildfires,” Abbott said in a statement. “The State of Texas is working alongside local officials and emergency management leaders on the ground to keep our communities safe and mitigate the threat that wildfires pose.”

It’s the latest weather disaster to threaten Texas after record cold crippled the state’s electric grid, left millions without power and killed dozens. Now, at least 2.1 million people face critical wildfire conditions, including in Amarillo and El Paso, Texas.

The risk of blazes typically rises across the Great Plains and the eastern U.S. in the spring time while across the West it occurs during the summer and fall. As of Friday, nine large fires had been reported across the U.S. this year, with the worst of those in Oklahoma where 10,558 acres burned, according to the U.S. National Interagency Fire Center.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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