Recent rains could lead to busy wildfire season in the Big Country


ABILENE, Texas - The recent rainfall Abilene and the Big Country has seen could lead to an active wildfire season.

Currently the risk for a fire is low, but that could change. The rainfall helped vegetation grow, and once it dries, the grass and weeds will become fuel for fires.

Phillip Truitt with the Texas A&M Forest Service said wildfires are all but assured.

"It's going to happen, Texas comes in cycles. We have a raining cycle to a dry cycle full of fires," Truitt said. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when it's going to happen again."

From March until June, the city of Abilene has seen approximately 1,136 cases of high grass and high weed complaints. About 784 of the cases have been closed out, meaning there was no violation or the owner mowed it themselves.

The remaining cases are waiting to be mowed by the city mower at the cost of the property owner.

City officials have asked citizens to not automatically assume that because the lot is vacant, the city of Abilene owns it. The grass and weeds growing along Winters Freeway, Hwy 277/83/84, Loop 322, Interstate 20 and various other roadways in Abilene belong to the state.

Complaints for overgrown grass and weeds in these areas should be forwarded to TxDOT.

The city of Abilene currently has four code officers and 11 contract mowers to cover the entire city.

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