Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Texas Drought/Fire Weather

Usually in Texas we are more concerned with heat and hurricanes, however lately we've had to be on the lookout for wildfires (more so in some regions than others).  It was really sad to read TPWD's report on the fires at Possum Kingdom burning 90% of the park acreage. Although on the bright side (if there is one), it will be interesting to watch what comes about after the fires have cooled and the nutrients filter down into the soil.  Some ecosystems need fire to thrive, and I hope that Possum Kingdom's wilderness areas can benefit and recover quickly. 
Texas certainly needs rain.  Here's a link to the current burn bans by county in Texas  http://tfsfrp.tamu.edu/wildfires/DecBan.png and as you can see very few counties are currently without a burn ban.   I always check this site before we go camping as it does affect what kind of fire (and if) we are allowed. 
Speaking of camping, we made a quick weekend trip last month to Lake Texana state park (under a burn ban) and the lake really shows how far Texas is behind on rain.  I don't think I've ever seen this lake as low as it was.  We were only allowed charcoal burning in the bar-b-que pits for cooking, nothing else.  Another note about Lake Texana - a good portion of their campsites (water/electricity side) are under construction (re-working water lines), so if you plan to go there soon - make a reservation. 
Here's a picture of Lake Texana in March. 

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