MCGREGOR, Texas — The Texas A&M Forest Service knew they would have a tough summer since back in April. They just didn't know how tough. Spokesman Kiley Moran said some crews have been out three weeks at a time and only had a few days to rest before their next assignment.
"It's been months of long hours. Lots of fires. Lots of people going in and out our office from different states and different areas. We've had all kinds of equipment between dozers and engines staying here, or checking in here, and then going all over the state," Moran said.
Central Texas got less than an inch of rain on Monday, but it was enough to leave puddles in the parking lot and give the forest service a slower day at work.
More importantly, it's the first sign that the current fire season could be reaching a stopping point.
One day of rain is, of course, not enough to reduce the fire risk, but Moran said several days of rain, and of high humidity, would be enough slow the fire season down.
"When it all comes at once, in floods, that's not the best kind of rainfall, for getting your fire danger out. It's those days stretched out will a little bit of rain everyday," Moran said.
Having a several days with high humidity and low wind would also help reduce the fire danger.
Moran said the Forest Service will have to wait and see how the rest of the week goes, but he is hopeful that the fires, and the hours of work, will eventually die down.
"It's a big relief for everyone. (The fires) are hard on a lot of people, hard on the families, so its good to see the rain and know that we are going to spend some time with our family soon," Moran said.
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