Though local weather watcher Dean Jones has calculated more rain last month compared to January 2016, the Texas A&M Forest Service has reported a high fire danger risk for Erath County.

Jones reported that last month the area received around 2.85 inches of rainfall with last year’s January total coming in at 0.20 inches.

But as of Wednesday, the forest service put most of Erath County in the high fire danger risk, a small portion in the very high category.

“All fine dead fuels ignited readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape,” states the forest service website. “Fires spread rapidly and short distance spotting is common. Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small.”

Erath County is not under a burn ban and the fire danger risk does change daily, and Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue Coordinator Chris Brooks links the risk to area winds.

“I’m sure due to high winds that will drive the humidity down,” Brooks said. 

As humidity levels diminish so does the moisture in the air and with high winds added, this can become a recipe for disaster for anyone burning outdoors.

So if you’re looking to get rid of that brush or pile of wood make sure to check out the Texas A&M Forest Service maps to see if it’s a good idea.

With rain in the forecast for next week, fire risk levels should decrease.

Last year’s rain total for February was only 1.80 inches, but as most Texans know, the rainy months are still ahead.

In April and May 2016 the combined rainfall total was 21.5 inches, which is almost half of the yearly total of 2016 of 44.05 inches.