With hot, dry weather conditions gripping much of Central Texas, the Austin Fire Department was bracing for the worst.
Lt. Randy Denzer patrolled a section of North Austin near Lakeline Blvd. and Parmer Lane on Sunday. The vegetation was so dry and brittle he called it a "tinder box ready to ignite."
“Even though this grass doesn't look like much, this is actually what kills firefighters,” said Denzer. “You get a fire going on them, it's so dry and the fire runs so fast, it is next to impossible to stop. We're in a dangerous situation.”
The Texas Forest Service calls these conditions the perfect storm for wildfires.
“Any little spark that starts a fire has got the potential to become a wildfire,” said Lexi Maxwell with the Forest Service. “They are going to be very hard to contain and control under these weather conditions.”
Maxwell says the main thing you can do is to remove all the dead vegetation from your yard.
“All of this dead vegetation is going to ignite first,” she explained. “That is going to help the fire spread even faster.”
Roughly 95 percent of wildfires in Central Texas are caused by people who flip cigarette buds out their car windows, park on dry grass sparking a fires, and dump barbeque ashes on the ground.
“If that cigarette bud gets out against any type of dry grass eventually with the wind, low humidity and heat right now has a much better chance of igniting that grass,” said Denzer.
Denzer says he will continue to scout out areas where fires could start and get out of control in a matter of seconds.
On red flag days, the Austin Fire Department and surrounding fire departments go on high alert.