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Changing Weather Could Bring Trouble with Texas Wildfires

A cool front that moved through the area of the Smithville, Texas, wildfire brought lower temperatures, dryer air and calmer winds which could be a mixed blessing for Texas firefighters. The firefighters battled the blaze throughout the night that has now claimed over 250 acres. While the cooler temperatures and calm air help firefighters, the lower humidity level increase the danger that new fires could start or the existing fire could spread.

Late Wednesday, the slight winds will shift back to the southeast, raising humidity levels, which could also be helpful as firefighters work to contain the brushfire.

The fire, renaimed as the “Hidden Pines Fire,” that began on Tuesday has grown to engulf 275 acres, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from the Texas A&M Forest Service. A&M report the fire as being 40 percent contained. The fire is located northeast of Buescher State Park in what appears to be a sparsely populated area.

Two other fires in the area have been completely contained. One of those fires, located in Williamson County, burned 88 acres. The second fire was also located in Bastrop County. Located near El Camino Creek, the fire burned 30 acres. No homes have been lost in these three separate fires. However, ten homes have been or are currently threatened; the A&M report reveals. One structure, not a home, was reported to have been destroyed by the fire. The National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement for the area of the fires:

…CONDITIONS WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR THE SPREADING OF FIRES TODAY AND THURSDAY…   RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES ARE EXPECTED TO DECREASE TO THE 10 TO 20 PERCENTILE RANGE THIS AFTERNOON AS A DRY AIRMASS REMAINS IN PLACE OVER MUCH THE REGION. WIND AND WIND GUSTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE LESS THAN YESTERDAY BUT OVERALL DRYNESS OF THE VEGETATION REMAINS HIGH. THIS COMBINATION OF DRY FUELS AND DRY AIR WITH WINDS OF 5 TO 10 MPH TODAY WILL SUPPORT SOME WILDFIRE SPREAD AND LONGEVITY…SHOULD IGNITION OCCUR. RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES WILL BE SLIGHTLY HIGHER TOMORROW BUT SOME AREAS ARE STILL EXPECTED TO FALL NEAR 20 PERCENT WITH SLIGHTLY GREATER WINDS FROM THE SOUTHEAST AND THUS CONTINUE THE FIRE WEATHER HAZARD INTO THURSDAY.   MANY COUNTIES ACROSS THE STATE HAVE ENACTED BURN BANS AND WHILE THESE SHOULD BE HEEDED AT ALL TIMES…IT WILL BE PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT TO NOT START ANY FIRES TODAY AND THURSDAY AS THEY COULD HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO SPREAD QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY. IF YOU HAPPEN TO NOTICE ANY SMALL GRASS FIRES OR SMOKE…PLEASE INFORM YOUR LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

The fire was originally named the Luecke Fire. That name was derived from the property where the fire began. The Weather Channel’s Jeff Stensland tweeted a photos showing the Luecke ranch near Smithville and its distinctively visible brand. From the air, stands of trees that were left after cuttings are visible from the air in the shape of letters that spell out “LUECKE.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX

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