The type of fire threat Texans are used to seeing in the middle of a hot, dry summer has already arrived, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
Much of North Texas is under an "elevated to near-critical" fire weather threat on Thursday, and the threat zone will grow on Friday, said Patricia Sanchez, a NWS meteorologist.
She said three conditions have been met to create the threat:
- Winds will be gusty at 15-20 mph, with some gusts reaching 30-35 mph.
- Humidity will be low — below 30 percent and possibly in the teens
- Area grass and soil, which the NWS also monitors, are dry due to a recent lack of rain
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Sanchez said conditions are ripe for someone's tossed cigarette butt to start a major grass fire.
But with high temperatures forecast to reach the low 80s both days, does the threat mean people should resist the temptation to fire up the grill?
"If you do it pretty safely, in a contained environment like your backyard, you'll be OK," Sanchez said.
But don't burn leaves or trash, and don't build any bonfires, she added. Nothing low to the ground and around grass.
The threat should persist at least into the early weekend, Sanchez said.
"Saturday we get some rain chances back with a chance of storms, so that will kind of moderate [the fire threat]."