Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales has declared a local state of disaster for Nueces County due to the threat of widespread and property damage due to wildfires.
Wildfires have ravaged Nueces County and its surrounding counterparts since February and throughout the month of March, pushing the limits of local fire crews as they tirelessly fight to protect Coastal Bend residents and their properties.
According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, wildfires can emerge when extremely dry vegetation is exposed to critical fire weather, which includes well-above normal temperatures and increased wind speeds.
On Monday March 28, the forest service issued a release, stating "the fire environment is likely to continue to support increased potential for large wildfires on Wednesday for the Hill Country and South Texas."
On Wednesday afternoon, a fire was sparked on King Ranch, west of Kingsville, which later turned into the Borrega Fire, spreading across three counties and burning 46,000 acres. On Friday at 10:44 a.m., the fire was 50% contained.
"As conditions across a large portion of the state worsen, wildfires that ignite are burning more intensely and are frequently resistant to control,” said Wes Moorehead in the release, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “Unfortunately, little to no precipitation is forecast for the immediate future and we expect the current level of wildfire activity to continue for some time.”
This month, the forest service said that state and local resources have responded to 726 wildfires that burned 164,257 acres across the state.
On March 18, Governor Greg Abbott issued a state of disaster for 11 Texas counties who have been affected by wildfires.