Texas Wildfire Caution Urged With Fireworks

COLLEGE STATION (AP) – Texas drought conditions have improved this year but experts say Fourth of July revelers should still use caution with fireworks.

The Texas Forest Service says 83 of the state’s 254 counties had outdoor burn bans Monday. A year ago more than 230 counties had outdoor burn bans amid the devastating drought and extreme hot weather.

The agency is encouraging people planning holiday celebrations to use fireworks safely. Spokesman Justice Jones says the wildfire potential exists in areas where consecutive days of hot temperatures have dried out vegetation.

All of Texas has emerged from the worst stage of drought for the first time in nearly 15 months. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map released last Thursday showed none of Texas in exceptional drought.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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