Fox News Weather Center

Gusty winds and dryness to raise brush fire threat in Texas, Oklahoma

The combination of gusty winds and dryness will keep the risk of brush fire ignition and spread elevated over parts of western Texas and Oklahoma as well as southeastern New Mexico into midweek.

Prior to the green up of grassy areas of the High Plains, brush fires are common during the late winter and early spring.

However, this ever-present threat can be elevated when high winds blast the region.

"A storm system is forecast to move from the Rockies to the central Plains over the next few days," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey. "The storm will stir up winds in the area."

Static Fire Danger S. Cen.

Gusts topping 40 mph, combined with low humidity, dry grass and sunshine, will raise the brush fire threat considerably through Wednesday.

"While the warmer-than-average winter has allowed some grass and other fuels to green up early, where the green up has not occurred, the temperature of the fuel is higher and the moisture of the fuel is very low," Duffey said.

People will need use extreme caution when using outdoor power equipment in situations such as this week.

"Avoid outdoor burning, parking vehicles over tall grass and throwing burning cigarettes out of your vehicle," Duffey said.

Strong winds will ease by Thursday, which will lower the fire threat. However, breezy conditions may develop late in the week and this weekend.

While rainfall has been sufficient over much of Texas and New Mexico this winter, moderate to severe drought conditions exist over much of Oklahoma, eastern Colorado and western Kansas, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

If the lack of rain persists this spring, problems for agriculture could arise this summer.