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Texas A&M Forest Service encouraging fire safety during fall, winter hunting season

The Texas A&M Forest Service is encouraging fire safety during fall and winter hunting seasons
The Texas A&M Forest Service is encouraging fire safety during fall and winter hunting seasons
Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 4:51 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 11:49 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - With East Texas hunting seasons in full swing, a state agency is once again urging hunters and campers to use caution outdoors, to avoid forest fires.

The Texas A&M forest service is putting out that word knowing that a large percentage of fires start during major hunting seasons.

According to the forest service, nine out of 10 wildfires in Texas are human caused, and 65 percent of wildfires that occur during hunting season are caused by debris burning and equipment use.

“Unfortunately some of our activities that we associate with hunting season have the potential to accidentally start a wildfire,” says Weldon Dent of Texas A&M forest service.

And it’s hunting season that they are targeting.

“About 37 percent of our wildfires we see throughout the year occur in our hunting season months,” he says.

From 2016 to 2020, Texas A&M forest service responded to over 37-hundred wildfires, burning nearly a million-and-a-half acres.

One of the common dangers particularly around campfires is grass. Drought or freeze cured grass.

“Frost and drought can cure drying of fuel. A lot of it is with vehicle use, equipment use. Camping, campfires,” Dent says.

Making wildfires easier to start.

“One of our big ones is parking or driving over tall grass. The vehicle exhaust can ignite the grass,” Weldon says.

Dent has simple tips to help avoid accidentally starting a wildfire while hunting and camping this fall.

“Be cautious with any activity that could cause a spark. Drown and stir your campfire before you leave it,” he says.

Dent says always check with local officials for burn bans or other outdoor burning restrictions.

And when using a cooking fire or campfire, never leave it unattended, and always make sure it is out before leaving.

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