National News

Drought conditions return to the Ark-La-Tex

Posted June 2, 2018 10:51 a.m. EDT

— With drought conditions back in the Ark-La-Tex, the potential for fire danger is increasing.

Fire officials say the summer wildfire season could rekindle very quickly this year.

According to the Texas Forest Service, nearly half of Texas is currently considered to be under moderate drought conditions.

That why fire officials are urging people to be careful when dealing with fire or sources of heat near dry vegetation.

New Boston Volunteer Fire officials say calls to extinguish grass fires have picked up recently, and they're concerned it could only get worse.

So far, there are no burn bans in East Texas, but fire officials say the high winds and dry conditions are the perfect combination for a grass fire.

New Boston Fire Marshal Ron Clark says most of their calls have been along area roadways.

He says fires can start from things like car fires, thrown out cigarette butts or sparks from vehicles.

"We want people to just be safe and make sure they monitor the fire if they do any outdoor control burning," said Clark.

Clark says anyone who needs to start a burn pile can call the fire department, and they'll come look at the conditions and what they need to burn.

According to the Drought Mitigation Center, drought conditions are currently impacting about 71 percent of Louisiana's population, 59 percent of Texas, 5 percent of Arkansas.