The Bastrop fire still burns tonight with only 30 percent containment. Officials say the fire has burned approximately 34,068 acres and destroyed more than 1400 homes. In the state of Texas, more than 126,000 acres have burned in wildfires, destroying more than 1600 homes.
Bexar County has seen some fires as well. On Monday, a 250 acre fire burned in Stone Oak causing evacuations of a nearby apartment complex and subdivision. On Tuesday and Wednesday, a fire burned 290 acres in the Camp Stanley, Camp Bullis, Leon Springs, and Fair Oaks Ranch area. No structures were damaged in any of those fires.
However earlier this afternoon, a fire in the Bexar-Atascosa county line near US 281 burned more 10 to 15 acres and destroyed 4 homes and 16 cars.
Smoke from all the fires across the eastern half of Texas and from local fires here in Bexar County will continue to get trapped inside a temperature inversion making breathing conditions difficult over the next few days. As a result, much of the region remains under an Air Quality Health Alert through at least tomorrow.
These fires, a consequence of the ongoing drought, show little sign of easing in the long run. So long as rain continues to avoid the state, each passing storm system will kick up winds creating conditions favorable for explosive fire growth.
The prospects of seeing beneficial rain appear to be dim. NOAA has released a press statement today that announces the waters of the equatorial pacific have cooled enough to allow an official declaration of La Niña. La Niña typically means that weather conditions in Texas will be drier than average during the winter. And given the current drought, that will most likely be the case.
The only hope for short term relief will be Tropical Storm Nate, which is currently churning in the Bay of Campeche. Despite large uncertainty with the possible track, it appears most likely that Nate will move westward into Mexico as a hurricane and avoid the Texas coast. Still, this storm does bear watching just in case any adjustments need to be made to the forecast.
As a result. the forecast through the next 7 to 10 days will be dry as no weather systems will approach the region. Expect high temperatures to hover in the mid-to-upper 90s the next few days, and highs could approach close to 100 by this weekend and early next week.
The latest Drought Monitor is out, and as expected, the news is bad. Latest outlook shows that 100% of the state remains in some form of drought, with 99.01% in severe or worse drought. The areas ravaged by the fires this past week, and San Antonio, help make up the 95.68% of the state that is in Exceptional Drought.
Texas Wildfire Relief Fund
As I have announced yesterday, I will be donating all revenue I earn from knotmove.com from September 7 through 20thtowards wildfire relief. Yesterday I earned only $2.07, and I hope to increase that number. The amount of revenue I make is dependent on how many page views my articles receive. Therefore, I ask all of you to share my articles to get the revenues up.
The charity I will donate my money to is the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund. This money will go to helping out severely underfunded volunteer fire departments across the state. These fire departments are the first responders to any major fire that pops up across the state. Helping them get the resources they need is crucial to preventing a small grass fire grow into something much more destructive.
I thank all of you for your support and hope you spread the word. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, ask me on my Facebook or Twitter, or send me an e-mail address at [email protected]
For additional information on how to help out with the fire relief efforts, check out the article I posted yesterday.
For the most up to the minute weather information, be sure to like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter @AnthonyTorresWx. I will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you have regarding the latest weather