Preparing for wildfire season's peak - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Preparing for wildfire season's peak

Amarillo, Texas - Officials met Wednesday to plan and prepare for the upcoming peak of wildfire season.

April is the peak of wildfire season, and although we've had more moisture and a calm year for fires, that could soon all change.

The National Weather Service in Amarillo along with fire and other officials met Wednesday to discuss the approaching fire season peak.

"We just got together to discuss some of the challenges we'll face this year, some of the things that have changed over the last year as we go into the peak of this fire season which is in April," Todd Lindley, Science and Operations Officer for the National Weather Service says.

The National Weather Service will also be teaming up with Texas Tech University to add more equipment across the Amarillo area that will help in the prevention of wildfires.

"And that will give us a real high resolution data set of certain surface observations to measure things like relative humidity, wind and soil moisture across the panhandle," Lindley says.

Lindley also says this year has been calm for fires because what moisture we've received has helped vegetation.

"Fuel moisture so far this year has not been critical. However, we do continue to be in a state of drought, and if we see a period of above normal temperatures, we could see those fuels become more vulnerable to burning," Lindley says.

But forecasters are saying the upcoming warm weather is only going to add fuel to the fire of the already dry conditions.

"We're going to have a very warm period coming up, especially Friday where we'll probably see record highs here in Amarillo," B.J. Simpson, Senior Forecaster for The National Weather Service says.

Simpson says these conditions are increasing wildfire potential.

"The warmer it is and dryer it is, we're going to have really low humidity on Friday, that will help dry out the fuels," Simpson says.

And with not a lot of moisture in our forecast...

"Then there's going to be a little bit of a ramp up in us having to be more cautious," Simpson says.

We're told, everyone is on alert to better battle any upcoming wildfires.

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