News Flash


Posted on: December 19, 2017

Red flag burn ban extended; Drought, fire conditions worsen in county.

By Richard Greene | Wise County Messenger


PUTTING OUT THE FLAMES – Newark firefighters hit hot spots at a grass fire on Old Base Road Monday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Shirley Allen thought the fire in her burn barrel was fully extinguished when she went into her residence near the intersection of Old Base Road and Farm Road 718 Monday afternoon.

“When I went into the house, there was not a fire,” Allen said. “An ember must have blown out. I got the water hose and started fighting it.”

A grass fire torched the land around Allen’s home. Newark, Boyd and Rhome firefighters extinguished the blaze.

It was one of multiple grass fires in the county and surrounding area Monday, the same day Wise County commissioners renewed the Red Flag burn ban. The ban prohibits burning on days with elevated fire risk as determined by the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth.

Fire conditions in the county have been deteriorating over the past few weeks due to newly dormant grasses following recent freezes, high winds, low humidity and unseasonably warm high temperatures.

Monday, the relative humidity dropped to 8 percent at the Decatur Municipal Airport.

Tom Bradshaw, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth, said the combination of dry grasses and low humidity are elevating the fire risk.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot to potentially get [fire] to spread,” Bradshaw said. “What’s the key to us is when the winds pick up.”

He said that winds of 25 mph meet the Red Flag criteria.

No relief in the form of rain is predicted in the extended forecast for the rain-starved region. In the Dec. 5 Drought Monitor from the National Drought-Mitigation Center, most of Wise County is under severe drought. The extreme western portion of the county is abnormally dry.

“Over the past 90 days, Wise County is at 25 to 50 percent of normal rainfall,” Bradshaw said. “It’s worse going east to Cooke and Denton counties.”

Forecasters predicted an elevated fire risk for Wednesday and a critical fire risk Saturday with wind gusts at 25 mph.

The dry, windy and warm pattern is expected to continue through the winter with a La Ni a predicted.

“When this pattern sets up, it limits the storm systems that roll into North Texas,” Bradshaw said.

“It’s not looking promising for rain by the end of the month. We’ll likely be in worse shape.”

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in Home



Posted on: November 24, 2018


Posted on: November 24, 2018

Getting Rid of Hazardous Materials

Posted on: November 19, 2018

Job Market Increase in Decatur

Posted on: November 9, 2018

Nov. 6th General Election Results

Posted on: November 7, 2018

ELECTION DAY is tomorrow!!

Posted on: November 5, 2018


Posted on: October 30, 2018
Go Big in Texas

Texas earns three No. 1 rankings:

Posted on: October 2, 2018

Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF)

Posted on: October 4, 2018

Upcoming TEDC Webinar

Posted on: October 9, 2018

Early voting in election set to start.

Posted on: October 19, 2018

Sales tax collections continue roll.

Posted on: October 19, 2018

Wise County Unemployment Rate Down

Posted on: October 23, 2018

Home Sales Slow in Wise County

Posted on: October 25, 2018

Proposed Tax Decrease

Posted on: August 14, 2018

Decatur eyes tax cuts

Posted on: August 9, 2018

Texas Produces Urban Employment Uplift

Posted on: August 22, 2018

Get your Taste of Wise Tickets!

Posted on: August 21, 2018

Decatur EDC Marks 25 Years!

Posted on: August 7, 2018

Governor's Small Business Handbook

Posted on: February 16, 2018

The Drive to Start a Business

Posted on: February 28, 2018

Dinner with the Wise County Mayors

Posted on: March 1, 2018

Decatur Texas Attractions

Posted on: March 6, 2018

Texas job growth to rebound in 2018

Posted on: March 8, 2018

Texas Wins the 2017 Governor's Cup

Posted on: March 27, 2018

Coming Soon: Wise County Hiring Event

Posted on: March 19, 2018

Wise County Finances In Order

Posted on: April 3, 2018

Wise County Hiring Event

Posted on: April 9, 2018

Santa visits Neighborhoods

Posted on: December 13, 2017

Protecting square from fire

Posted on: January 4, 2018

10 ways to help the flood victims

Posted on: September 4, 2017

Decatur ISD sets tax rate, approves budget

Posted on: September 8, 2017

5 things to know in Texas energy this week

Posted on: September 12, 2017

United Way kicks off fundraising campaign

Posted on: September 14, 2017

PD Recognizes Local Businesses

Posted on: September 18, 2017

Decatur EDC plans land purchase

Posted on: October 2, 2017

Company donates shoes to storm victims

Posted on: October 3, 2017

Ribbon Cutting for Sands Company Today

Posted on: August 29, 2017

Call 811 before digging

Posted on: August 15, 2017

Wise named Purple Heart County

Posted on: July 17, 2017