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Wildfire danger still high

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Dry pine needles contributed to the reignition of a fire near Glendale.Dry pine needles contributed to the reignition of a fire near Glendale.

TCNS staff

TRINITY COUNTY — While weekend thunderstorms helped break up the hot weather, the rainfall did little to lessen fire dangers.

Keith Johnson, assistant fire chief with Trinity Fire and Rescue, said that regardless of the rain, the trees are dry and dropping pine needles. Burning stumps ignite the needles and then fire begins to grow.

For instance, the fire departments in Trinity County again were called out to Glendale and Ghost Branch Road over the weekend, the fourth call in to the area; Trinity also provided mutual aid in Polk County.

The Groveton Volunteer Fire Department responded to several fires as well, one that burned 13 acres near Bud Jones Road, one near Bill Rasbeary Road, both started by lightning strikes.

Also, a fire on 94 near Lufkin, which involved Groveton and Apple Springs departments, which may have been started by a wheel on a vehicle sparking on the pavement; and another fire caused by a downed power line.

Johnson reminded residents the county burn ban still is in effect.

According to the Texas Forest Service, weekend rainfall produced a mosaic pattern of fuel dryness, and many regions will maintain dry to extremely dry fuel this week, with high potential for wildfire activity.

Numerous lightning strikes Sunday across East Texas, Central Texas, the Cross Timbers, and Western/Eastern Hill Country will have an opportunity to emerge Monday through Wednesday.

Many areas of East Texas, Central Texas, the Cross Timbers, and Eastern Hill Country received less than 1 inch of rain. These regions will support moderate significant fire potential Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday where dry to extremely dry fuel persists and is exposed to elevated to near critical, post-frontal fire weather.

Additionally, mostly dry conditions are expected after Tuesday.

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