According to The Texas A&M Forest Service, firefighters responded yesterday to 16 new wildfires that burned around 341 acres. So far Collin County has kept away from the grass and wildfires that have been destroying neighboring counties, but the Plano and Frisco Fire Departments still have their hands full. 

On Friday morning, for example, a two-alarm fire was reported as the solar panels on the roof of a five-story office building caught fire. As reported by NBCDFW, everyone in the 7100 block of Corporate Drive building was evacuated during the fire, and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. That same day in the afternoon, Plano Parkway had to be blocked and construction was interrupted between Jupiter and Shiloh Road when a gas leak was reported. Via Plano Star Courier, the city said the gas crew was quickly on the scene, and they worked with a dig crew to clamp the line allowing construction to continue.

Although dry weather is not the only cause of fires, it certainly increases the risks of fire spreading, especially when the wind picks up speed. “We need Texans to prevent wildfires from occurring under these conditions,” said Emily Wall, Texas A&M Forest Service Chief Operating Officer of Forest Resource Protection. “It is imperative that everyone remains diligent with any activity that may cause a spark and check with local officials for burn bans or other restrictions.”

Texas A&M Forest Service asks citizens to consider the following tips to help with the current situation:

  • Always obey local burn bans and outdoor burning restrictions. Wait to conduct any outdoor burning or light campfires until the burn ban has been lifted and weather conditions are not extremely hot, dry or windy.
  • Nine out of ten wildfires are human-caused. When your county is under a burn ban, residents should avoid outdoor activities that may cause a spark, this includes welding, grinding and using heavy machinery.
  • Many areas of Texas are experiencing high temperatures and dry weather. Residents should stay up to date on weather conditions and always use extreme caution when performing outdoor activities even if not under a burn ban.
  • Some areas of Texas have recently received rainfall. While rain can reduce wildfire danger temporarily, areas with limited rainfall will become dry again. Continue to obey burning restrictions until they have been lifted by your local officials.

Additionally, it’s never a bad idea to check your home for possible gas leaks following these tips.