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The risk for wildfires across the state has risen along with the hot and dry conditions, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
“With the recent uptick in wildfire activity, Texas A&M Forest Service has mobilized additional personnel and equipment to assist with response,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service fire chief. “State and local firefighters are prepared to respond quickly but we need Texans to be careful and prevent wildfire ignitions while conditions remain hot and dry.”
Nine out of 10 wildfires cross the state are both human-caused and preventable. The most common causes of wildfires during summer are debris burning and equipment use. That includes parking in dry grass and dragging trailer chains.
The forest service reported seven active wildfires as of Friday, most of which were 90% contained. However, the Blum Fire covering an estimated 300 acres was only 40% contained, while the Classic Canyon Fire in Coryell County, covering 150 acres, was 20% contained.
There are 150 counties in Texas with burn bans.
Abbott signs tax relief bill; now goes to voters
With Gov. Gregg Abbott’s signature on an $18 billion property tax relief package, now it’s up to the voters in November to approve a proposed constitutional amendment that would put it into effect.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that, if passed in November, homeowners would be eligible for a $100,000 homestead exemption, with those 65 and older getting an additional $40,000 exemption. The omnibus measure also exempts many smaller businesses from paying franchise taxes and implements a pilot program to limit annual property tax appraisal value increases.
Voters also will decide the fate of 13 other proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Besides the property tax measure, the propositions include creating a broadband infrastructure fund; creation of a Texas energy fund to build new electric generating plants; and creation of a water fund to finance water projects in Texas.