Breckenridge Texan

Fire danger high for Stephens County and area

January 30
16:18 2018

Stephens County is under a Red Flag Warning and is considered to be experiencing critical-elevated fire weather conditions. The county remains under a burn ban, and Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney has stated that violators will be fined and can be held accountable for any damages caused from carelessness.

On the BFD’s Facebook page, he asks local residents to be alert and try to schedule hazardous activity for another day. There should be no welding and no cutting without spotters, he said.

The National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office issued an “Urgent Fire Weather Message” this afternoon, warning that “dry and breezy conditions will create critical fire weather conditions (Tuesday) afternoon. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for areas along and west of a line from Jacksboro to Mineral Wells to Comanche. A Fire Weather Watch is in effect Wednesday along and northwest of a line from Denton to Cisco.”

According to the NWS, a Fire Weather Watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur and that area residents should listen for later forecasts and possible Red Flag Warnings.

A Red Flag Warning means that extreme fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will occur shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and dry vegetation can contribute to extreme fire behavior. The NWS says that area residents: need to avoid all outside burning and welding today; not toss lit cigarette butts outside; and, report wild fires to the nearest fire department or law enforcement office.

Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.

Storm Spotter Class
In addition to providing fire weather warnings, the National Weather Service also will present a free Skywarn storm spotter class in Breckenridge from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at Texas State Technical College.

The program will be held in partnership with Stephens County Emergency Management.

The class will be free of charge, and no pre-registration is necessary. The class is for organized storm spotters and/or anyone with an interest in severe weather. It is part of a regional severe weather preparedness campaign, which will include spotter training sessions across 46 counties in North and Central Texas. Other classes in the region can be found on the full schedule .

This year’s program discusses thunderstorm formation, ingredients, and features associated with severe and non-severe storms. The program discusses severe weather ingredients by taking a close look at the meteorology behind the Canton area tornado outbreak. Additionally, the program highlights severe weather safety and how you can report severe weather information back to local public safety officials.

By coming to the training session, attendees will gain a better understanding of Texas’ severe weather season, says Tom Bradshaw, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the NWS Fort Worth Office. “Waiting until storms are on your doorstep is not the time to start thinking about severe weather preparedness,” he says. “We hope you attend these free sessions to learn more about the severe storms that impact the region every year.”

For more information on severe weather, visit the NWS-Fort Worth website at, on Facebook: and on Twitter: @NWSFortWorth.

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