AMARILLO, TX - In the middle of winter, you may not be thinking about wildfire season -- but firefighters are.
"We normally start seeing our average normal wild land fire right around February and so we're spot on with that," said Troy Ducheneaux with the Texas A&M Forest Service.
A range fire that burned over 1,700 over the weekend looks to be the Panhandle's first wildfire this season. The fire parked near U.S. 287 and the Canadian River and took over two days to fully contain.
"The fire progressed off to the east from the westerly winds and went across 287 and kept going in an easterly fashion towards the LX Ranch headquarters," said Ducheneaux.
The cause of this fire has not yet been determined, but the abnormally warm weekend weather brought out extra activity to the river, and officials believe that could have something to do with the fire.
"There's a lot of recreational use in that area and so that is always a human factor that we look at," said Ducheneaux.
Ducheneaux says the recreational use, the amount of fuel load in the area, and high temperatures this winter will make for a significant wildfire season in the Panhandle. -- but being proactive and practicing safe fire techniques will help firefighters.
"They always need to be checking their equipment if they're using engine powered type equipment like UTV's and ATV's, or even generators," said Ducheneaux. "They need to have a fire extinguisher present and also make sure once they're done that they completely put out all their fires."