LAREDO, Texas (Border Report) — The threat of more wildfires jumping the Rio Grande into the South Texas border town of Laredo has the mayor on alert and urging residents to be extremely cautious.
“We ask that people be extremely careful. We’re under a severe drought and there’s a high potential there for fires and the wind as it’s been blowing for the last few days and it plans to continue blowing,” Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz told Border Report on Monday as temperatures reached the high 90s and humidity was near zero percent.
On March 15, embers from a wildfire south of the Rio Grande in a rural area southeast of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, hopped the international river and started a wildfire in Webb County on the U.S. side, about 15 miles southeast of Laredo.
That fire burned about 6 acres and continued for two days, threatening homes, a school and a library and taxing limited firefighting resources from the small towns of Rio Bravo and El Cenizo, Texas.
“The fire started in Mexico and blew across the river into El Cenizo, in the U.S., and that created a good size fire, 6 or 7 acres,” Saenz said. “It burned homes and all sorts of things, so gotta be mindful and extremely careful and a lot of prayers for rain.”
On Tuesday, 20 mph winds continued to blow across the Laredo region. The area has only had about 68% of its normal rainfall so far this year, according to CBS4 meteorologists.
“This is truly critical for us to be mindful of what we do and how we interact with the environment. More so in terms of creating sparks and fires because with the wind and the dry conditions that we have, very low humidity, it’s the ideal environmental climate-wise to truly have a big fire.”