NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The wildfires burning across the state may make your drive in North Texas dangerous today. The problem is so serious the National Weather Service has issued a Dense Smoke Advisory.
Winds are blowing smoke from fires in East Texas, where some 23,000 acres have burned, into parts of North Texas.
“The prevailing winds, though light, have been turning that smoke all the way back to parts of Van Zandt, Henderson, Kaufman, Navarro and especially Ellis Counties,” explained Eric Martello, with the National Weather Service.
In some areas the thick smoke has made it challenging for those on streets and highways. Martello said, “That smoke has actually dropped visibility at times to between a quarter mile and two miles. So, persons traveling on the interstates in those areas need to really make sure they slow down because it will be just like fog.”
Smoke from the fires burning in more than six east Texas counties is so thick its causing breathing problems as far north as Waxahachie. Ellis County Judge Carol Bush said phones there have been ringing off the hook.
“What we are doing in response [to the calls] is we’re issuing a Code Red Alert that the fog (smoke) is due to the temperature inversions and the winds from Marshall… that’s what they’re experiencing,” she said.
People with respiratory issues are being told to stay indoors.
The Dense Smoke Advisory runs until 4 p.m., that’s when the smoke is expected to blow past the North Texas area.
“Your visibilities can drop quickly but with the prevailing north winds expected by this afternoon, to increase to around 10 mph, we’re already expecting to see these visibilities come up,” Martello said.
North Texans are being reminded that most counties have issued some type of burn ban and everyone is urged to use extreme caution because of drought conditions and the high fire danger risk.