Cold front provides perfect wildfire conditions

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Corpus Christi National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning because of a front that came into our area early this morning for 13 counties including Jim Wells, Duval and Kleberg.

The Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. today, the NWS report said.

According to NWS, the dry conditions and gusts of strong winds could lead to fire danger.

"Very dry air will continue to rapidly spread across the region today, leading to relative humidity values of 15 to 20 percent across the Rio Grande Plains and 20 to 30 percent across the Coastal Bend and Coastal Plains," the NWS report said. "Strong surface high pressure building into South Texas will lead to windy conditions with winds ranging from 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts around 40 miles per hour possible along the coastal counties."

The report goes on to say that the combination of low relative humidity values and the strong winds will lead to a "high wildfire danger across South Texas…especially given the worsening drought conditions and dry vegetation."

The Keetch Byram Drought index, which measures drought conditions, puts Jim Wells County in the drought index score of 500 to 700 points.

The Commissioners' Court extended the total burn ban for another two weeks with no exemptions for burning during a special meeting Friday. With the total burn ban, trash burning and burning for agricultural purposes will not be allowed under any circumstances, county officials said.

County officials have said in the past that individuals found not obeying the burn ban restriction may receive a Class C Misdemeanor citation with a maximum fine of $500.