HOUSTON - Houston residents woke up to smoky, hazy skies on Friday morning due to wildfires burning in north central Texas.
Several wildfires have merged to form what fire officials call a "complex" that was burning near Eastland, about 120 miles west of Dallas. Nearly 40,000 acres of brush and grassland are burning and are uncontained.
It looks like the smoke plume became larger overnight and was blown directly at the Houston-area by dry, breezy northwest winds.
According to the National Weather Service, the smoky conditions in Houston will improve through the afternoon on Friday, but may return at night.
Air quality in the area is at level "red", which is considered unhealthy for all groups of people.
The Houston Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management say those with respiratory issues such as asthma, COPD, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema, you may want to consider the following until air quality improves:
• Stay indoors if possible
• Limit outdoor exposure and outdoor exercise
• Frequently self-monitor
• Wear a mask if going outside.
The public can see wildfire locations, smoke distribution and air quality at https://fire.airnow.gov
Wildfires burn in Texas
Low humidity and gusty winds fueled multiple wildfires Friday in Texas, burning homes and other structures and prompting evacuations of small communities.
Several wildfires merged to form the "complex" that was burning near Eastland.
As of Friday morning, the fires had burned about 62.5 square miles, according to Texas A&M Forest Service. It was only 2% contained and fires were burning in thick brush and grass fields.
About 18,000 people live in Eastland County, where the large fire was burning.
Other smaller fires were burning throughout other areas of Texas, and Thursday’s low humidity and high winds created an ideal scenario for the blazes to quickly grow out of control. Texas A&M Forest Service had warned of a wildfire outbreak this week because of the forecast.
There were no reports of injuries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.