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Wildfire activity forecast to increase through the weekend

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Wildfire activity is forecast to increase along and west of I-35 and into South Texas through the weekend, according to Texas A&M Forest Service personnel.

Fireman walks along a fire line with fire resources in the dark of night with only the glow of the fire

Wildfire activity is forecast to increase through the weekend. (Texas A&M Forest Service photo)

An abundance of extremely dry, dormant grasses and intensifying drought may produce large wildfires that are difficult to control when exposed to periods of elevated-to-critical fire weather.

Since March 12, state and local resources have responded to 70 wildfires that have burned 15,274 acres across the state. 

Texas A&M Forest Service is monitoring the current situation closely and has positioned personnel and equipment across areas of concern. 

Resources staged across the state

“The underlying drought conditions combined with winds associated with cold front passages has supported increased wildfire activity across the state this week,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service fire chief. “Conditions are not forecast to improve through the weekend, and the agency has strategically placed fire resources across the state for a quick and effective response.”

Fully staffed task forces and additional suppression equipment are staged in Alice, Amarillo, Beeville, Brownwood, Burkburnett, Childress, Edinburg, Fort Stockton, Fredericksburg, Lubbock, McGregor, Merkel, Mineral Wells, Pleasanton, San Angelo, Smithville and Victoria.

Additionally, fireline supervisors, command staff and incident commanders with advanced qualifications are strategically placed across the state to respond.

Aviation resources currently staged in state for wildfire response include two large airtankers, 12 single engine air tankers, four air attack platforms, three Type 1 helicopters, two Type 3 helicopters and one aerial supervision module.

During periods of high fire activity, aviation resources are used to support suppression efforts on the ground, aiding in the protection of structures and other valuable resources. Aircraft responded to eight wildfires over the past week, assisting ground crews with a total of 66,000 gallons of water and retardant to slow forward progression of fires.

Texas A&M Forest Service has requested the mobilization of six strike teams via Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System for wildfire incident support.

Texas A&M Forest Service reminds the public to “stay wildfire aware.” If a wildfire is spotted, immediately contact local authorities. A quick response can help save lives and property.

For current conditions and wildfire outlook, visit the Texas Fire Potential Outlook at https://bit.ly/3kemhbG.

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BISD approves administrator contracts, hears about budget error

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By BARBARA GREEN
[email protected]
Bowie School trustees approved new contracts for all its primary administrators and discussed a hit to the budget thanks to an error in value calculation software.
After an executive session that lasted about an hour the board approved all the contracts presented that included the assistant superintendent, finance director, support services, athletic director, technology director and all the principals. Superintendent Blake Enlow said everyone on the list was approved and no one was left off the list.
School safety also was a topic listed in executive session, but no action was taken or discussed back in open session.

Read the full story in the mid-week Bowie News.

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NEWS

Early voting opens today

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Early voting for the March 5 party primary elections began Tuesday and runs through March 1.
There will be four locations in the county for voting in person: Montague County Annex Community Room, Montague; H.J. Justin Building, Nocona; Saint Jo Civic Center, Saint Jo and Bowie Senior Citizens Center, Bowie. Voters are reminded they can cast ballots at any of these locations thanks to county-wide voting.
Early voting is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at those four locations starting Feb. 20 and going through Feb. 23. Extended early voting hours at all locations will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 24; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 25 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 26-March 1.

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Bowie sends demand letter to Nelson Street contractor

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By BARBARA GREEN
[email protected]
It appears a letter from the City of Bowie demanding MX Construction return to work immediately on the Nelson and Mill Street drainage projects may be working as the contractor crew returned to the site on Wednesday.
In a Feb. 7 letter to Chris Delgado, project manager, Mike Tibbetts of Hayter Engineering, also representing the city, urged the crew to resume work and resolve problems discovered a month earlier in the inlet/junction box at the intersection.
The box had been constructed on soil that had not been tested – soil that the on-site superintendent for MX said would not pass the required compaction tests.
Bowie City Manager Bert Cunningham said Thursday MX was back at work Wednesday laying water lines and doing other tasks, but the city has not received a final response to how they will move forward on the inlet box. He added the full crew with the supervisor was not yet back.

Read the full story on the demand letter in the weekend Bowie News.

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