Special to the E-T

Wildland fires pose a threat in Texas, especially when dry weather conditions combine with high winds and extreme temperatures. Whether you live near open grassland, in a suburban area on the edge of town or in a forested area, fire can threaten your home. When weather conditions make wildland fires more likely, take the following precautions:

• Avoid burning trash. Even a barrel covered with a screen can allow a spark to escape, igniting nearby vegetation.

• If you smoke in your car, extinguish cigarettes in vehicle ashtrays. Never toss a cigarette out of a car window, and don’t put cigarettes out on the ground.

• Be careful when pulling off a road or driving into a field. Hot catalytic converters can ignite vegetation.

• Keep a fire extinguisher and water handy when working outdoors with equipment that gets hot, or involves sparks, such as welding equipment. Water down outdoor work areas in advance if possible.

• Respect burn bans when your county officials declare them.

For more information on fire danger and advisories, see: http://www.texasfirestorm.org and the Texas Forest Service Web site at: http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu