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Burn Bans/Drought/Fires/Water Supply

County-wide burn bans through October 1

Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, September 6, 2011
U.S. Drought Monitor, September 27, 2011

Burn Bans

September 8 – Texas is a tinderbox and fires can be caused by even routine tasks, so only 4 of the 254 counties in Texas are without burn bans.
San Antonio Express, September 8, 2011.

September 7 – John M. Crisp of Del Mar college describes the horrors of drought and how the 2011 drought compares to past droughts.
Abilene Reporter News, John M. Crisp, September 7, 2011.

September 9 – Seventh Day Adventist ministers used their annual convention in Dallas to pray for an end to the drought.
The Houston Chronicle, September 9, 2011.

September 10 – The Houston Chronicle recently published a photo-blog of the drought across the state of Texas.
The Houston Chronicle, September 10, 2011.

September 14 – The city of Llano will put on a series of seminars for dealing with heat and drought.
The Llano News, September 14, 2011.

September 16 – Midland recorded 1.44” of rain, but after several months of dry weather, the city still faces a significant long-term precipitation deficit.
Midland KOSA, Shelley Childers, September 16, 2011.

September 22 – The city of San Angelo may have its driest year in recorded history.
San Angelo Standard-Times, Rick Smith, September 22, 2011.

September 26 – The Seguin Gazette encourages residents of Texas to document the current drought and its effects on the environment through photography.
Seguin Gazette, Forrest Mims III, September 26, 2011.

September 1 – Fire fighting crews were optimistic that calmer winds would help crews gain control over a wildfire at Possum Kingdom Lake that had already destroyed at least 39 homes.
Houston KHOU, September 1, 2011.


September 1 – Firefighters in East Texas were dispatched to assist with a wildfire in Palo Pinto County that had already consumed more than 6,000 acres.
Nacogdoches KTRE, September 1, 2011.

September 2 – Three twin-engine aircraft capable of scooping and carrying lake water were brought in to assist with a wildfire in North Texas.
The Austin-American Statesman, September 2, 2011.

September 4 – A wildfire between Gladewater and Liberty City claimed the lives of a woman and her 18-month-old daughter, who were unable to escape their burning home.
The Tyler Paper, Kenneth Dean, September 4, 2011.

September 5 – More than 5,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes in Bastrop County as strong winds from Tropical Storm Lee quickly spread a massive blaze that had already consumed 500 homes.
WFAA Dallas-Ft. Worth, Will Weissert, September 5, 2011.

September 5 – Texas Governor Rick Perry said he was focused on the wildfires that were burning across the state rather than his presidential campaign, despite an upcoming GOP presidential debate on the 7th in California.
CNN, Ashley Killough, September 5, 2011.

September 6 – The “101 Ranch” fire in Palo Pinto County was nearly contained after burning more than 6,500 acres and destroying 39 homes.
Hood County News, September 6, 2011.

September 6 – Residents of the Foxfire subdivision, located on the Grimes-Montgomery County border, were forced from their homes because of a nearby wildfire.
Houston KHOU, Doug Miller, September 6, 2011.

September 6 – The recent outbreak of wildfires have destroyed more than 1,000 homes across the state, thanks in large part to winds associated with Tropical Storm Lee, which struck the Louisiana Gulf Coast.
The Houston Chronicle, Jim Vertuno and Michael Graczyk, September 6, 2011.

September 7 – Recent wildfires in Magnolia have shown the need for volunteer firefighters.
The Houston Chronicle, Pete Holley, September 7, 2011.

September 10 – A Longview woman hosted a rain dance to pray for rain and to raise money for firefighters fighting the wildfires across Texas.
Longview News Journal, Glenn Evans, September 10, 2011.

September 14 – Lightning struck a house and started a fire overnight in northeastern El Paso, causing minor damage in both floors of the two-story home.
NBC Channel 9, El Paso, Sandra Ramirez, September 14, 2011.

September 15 – The massive 34,000-acre fire in Bastrop County that has been burning for nearly 2 weeks was about 75 percent contained, thanks in large part to some much needed rain.
The Houston Chronicle, September 15, 2011.

September 22 – Drought conditions have firefighters expecting another wildfire in Montgomery County, but local officials have provided residents with advice on avoiding becoming the next fire victim.
Houston Community Newspapers, Kassia Micek, September 22, 2011.

September 26 – A large grass fire in San Leon burned about 9 acres of land and may have been intensified because of brush and debris left from Hurricane Ike in 2008.
The Daily News, John DeLapp, September 26, 2011.

Water Supply

September 4 – A resident of Central Texas invented a device that captures water from the air and works more efficiently when relative humidity values are higher.
Houston KTRK, Cynthia Cisneros, September 4, 2011.

September 7 – Anheuser-Busch recently donated 70,560 cans of drinking water to wildfire-stricken Texas.
St. Louis KXAN, September 7, 2011.

September 8 – Stage 2 water restrictions are in place in Houston while crews battle the numerous pipeline breaks across the city.
Houston KUHF, Gail Delaughter, September 8, 2011.

September 9 – Water restrictions were put in place as the Brazos River Authority placed the region under a Stage 1 drought watch due to low reservoir levels.
Community Impact, Samantha Bryant and Beth Wade, September 8, 2011.

September 10 – The city of Huntsville enacted mandatory stage 2 water restrictions, which limit outdoor watering and request voluntary cutbacks.
The Huntsville Item, Tori Brock, September 10, 2011.

September 11 – The Tarrant Regional Water District must now consider new options to feed the water supply as the drought progresses.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, September 11, 2011.

September 14 – The Lower Colorado River Authority is currently making plans to mitigate a drought worse than the drought of record in the 1950s.
Texas Tribune, Kate Galbraith, September 14, 2011.

September 22 – Movement of water from flooded areas of the United States to the north of Texas has crossed the minds of many Texans during the current drought.
Environmental Protection, September 22, 2011.

September 22 – Low lake levels have increased the mineral content of water in the Permian basin, giving water a different odor and taste.
Midland CBS 7, Jennifer Samp, September 22, 2011.

September 23 – Beginning on November 1, many North Texans will be under Stage 3 Water Restrictions.
DFW NBC 5, September 23, 2011.

September 25- Water conservation must become a habit for residents in teh Austin area in order to meet future watering needs in times of drought.
The Austin-American Statesman, September 25, 2011.

Agricultural Impacts

September 2 – Texas AgriLife Extension Service experts say that mesquite bean have become a large part of the diet for livestock in West Texas thanks to the current drought conditions.
AgriLife Today, Steve Byrns, September 2, 2011.

September 3 – The current drought has forced the closure of the Buda Farmer’s Market, but organizers are hopeful of the market reopening the first day of October.
The Austin-American Statesman, Ciara O' Rourke, September 3, 2011.

September 3 – The drought has significantly increased the number of reports of loose livestock in Central Texas.
My West Texas, Ciara O'Rourke, September 3, 2011.

September 6 – Scientists are using a drought simulator funded by a $1.5 million grant to help develop drought-resistant crops for farmers.
My San Antonio, Alan Scher Zagier, September 6, 2011.

September 7 – The cotton crop in Texas this year has seen the highest crop abandonment rate ever, with an abandonment rate of 54%.
San Angelo Standard-Times, Jerry Lackey, September 7, 2011.

September 13 – As the unprecedented drought caused crops to fail, researches gained new insight on the drought tolerance of many types of crops.
The Battalion, Emily Villani, September 13, 2011.

September 15 – Farmers can no longer afford to feed their herds so pregnant cows are being sold to ranches to the north of drought-afflicted Texas.
ABC 25 Waco, Amanda Gomez, September 15, 2011.

September 15 – Fertilizer thefts have dropped due to farmers not buying much fertilizer in the current drought.
KWTX, Rachel Cox, September 15, 2011.

September 16 – Drought is causing huge impacts on the local cattle industry in San Antonio.
San Antonio Business Journal, Mike W. Thomas, September 16, 2011.

September 18 – The current drought has actually been a blessing to the Texas wine industry because it has led to the production of tiny grapes that are ideal for wine production.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Sarah Bahari, September 18, 2011.

September 19 – A Texas A&M soil scientist says it may take years to recover the rangelands of Texas after the drought is over.
Houston KUHF, Andrew Schneider, September 19, 2011.

September 20 – The pumpkin supply across Texas has dropped due to the widespread crop failure attributed to the drought.
DFW NBC 5, Sara Story, September 20, 2011.

September 21 – Low water levels in the San Marcos River have threatened the wild rice crop that grows near the river.
The University Star, Emma Long, September 21, 2011.

September 22 – The state peanut crop has been battered by the heat and lack of rain, meaning consumers should expect an increase of about 30% for the price of peanut butter.
San Antonio KSAT, September 22, 2011.

Inclement Weather


September 1 – A meteorologist with the National Weather Service says that Texas likely broke an all-time United States record for summer heat.
My West Texas, September 1, 2011.

September 4 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas was hopeful that the expected cooling of the brutal summer temperatures would place less strain on the Texas electrical power grid.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Linda Stewart Ball, September 4, 2011.

September 8 – The extreme heat may have curbed crime this year in Amarillo, criminologists with West Texas A&M University say.
Amarillo Globe News, Russell Anglin, September 8, 2011.

September 9 – A large dust devil suddenly appeared in the Plano/Garland area and was caught on tape.
KDFW Dallas-Ft. Worth, Kevin Boie, September 9, 2011.

September 13 – The city of Houston hit a record high of 99°F on the 12th and more record heat was expected in the days to come.
The Houston Chronicle, Dale Lezon, September 13, 2011.

September 13 – A record for total number of days above the century mark in a given year was surpassed in North Texas as the region rose above 100°F for the 70th time in 2011.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram, Domingo Ramirez Jr., September 13, 2011.

September 14 – Heat is on the mind of organizers for this year’s version of the Austin City Limits music festival that is held annually in the capital of Texas.
KXAN Austin, Reagan Hackleman, September 14, 2011.

September 24 – The 86 days of 100-degree heat at Austin Camp Mabry shattered the previous record set in 1925 by 15 days, with records going back to 1854.
The Austin-American Statesman, Ben Wear, September 24, 2011.

September 25 – The city of Corpus Christi hit 101 degrees, leaving residents to ponder when fall weather will finally arrive.
KZTV Corpus Christi, September 25, 2011.

Hurricanes/Tropical Weather

September 2 – National Weather Service meteorologists are worried that Tropical Storm Lee might provide more problems than relief to wildfire conditions in Texas.
KWTX Waco, September 2, 2011.

September 3 – The outer bands of Tropical Storm Lee brought some much needed rain to Southeast Texas.
KFDM, Mary Foster, September 3, 2011.

September 7 – Fifty years after hurricane Carla hit South Texas her effect still lingers and motivates people that experienced Carla to prepare for hurricane season.
Victoria Advocate, September 7, 2011.

Severe Weather

September 27 – A severe thunderstorm dropped quarter-sized hail in Burnet County, though no damage was reported.
The Austin-American Statesman, Isadora Vail, September 27, 2011.

Other Climate Impacts

September 2 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas reported that wind turbines located along the Texas Gulf Coast generated more power than turbines located in West Texas.
The Abilene Reporter News, Jaime Adame, September 2, 2011.

September 28 – Part of the set for the 2003 film “The Alamo”, located just outside of Austin, was destroyed by a wildfire that was likely sparked by a lightning strike.
KGNB New Braunfels, September 28, 2011.

Air/Water Quality

September 2 – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality hailed the decision by President Barack Obama to cancel his push for more strict air quality standards in Texas.
DFW CBS 11, September 2, 2011.

Animals/Aquatic Life

September 14 – Drought has recently been causing wildlife to wander into urban areas in search of food and water.
The Houston Chronicle, Christy Wooten, September 14, 2011.

September 16 – Increased salinity levels in Galveston Bay have placed a great deal of stress on the bay’s oysters.
The Houston Chronicle, Norman Johns, September 16, 2011.

September 21 – Drought has caused an increase in the operation costs at Crowe’s Nest Farm, a non-profit hybrid nature center in Manor.
The Austin-American Statesman, Joshunda Sanders, September 21, 2011.

September 22 – Rare minnows had to be rescued from the dry Brazos River and were taken to the Possum Kingdom Hatchery.
KIAH Houston, September 22, 2011.

September 27 – The current drought has made it difficult for donkey owners to afford their feeding, and this has led to dozens of stray donkeys being rounded up in Van Zandt County.
KTRE Lufkin, Elizabeth Thomas, September 27, 2011.


September 10 – The drought has caused the soil to dry up underneath the Burton City Hall and has adversely affected the foundation.
KBTX Bryan, Daniel Armbruster, September 10, 2011.

September 14 – Low lake levels have allowed for the construction of a channel to help refill Lake Meredith in the Panhandle.
Connect Amarillo, Matt Hamilton, September 14, 2011.

September 22 – A Fort Worth community center has begun cracking under a shifting foundation as the clay under the concrete slab has begun expanding because of the warm weather.
DFW NBC 5, Chris Van Horne, September 22, 2011.

September 25 – The Texas water infrastructure plan will theoretically supply the water needs of all Texans… at a cost of $53 billion.
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Ramit Plushnick-Masti, September 25, 2011.


September 7 – This year alone FEMA has issued 54 disaster grants to the state to fight wildfires. Over the past decade Texas has received $3.8 billion worth of grants due to disasters.
The Texas Tribune, Becca Aaronson, September 7, 2011.

September 24 – Businesses that sell shrubs, trees, and flowers have floundered amidst the ongoing drought.
Abilene Reporter News, Jaime Adame, September 24, 2011.

September 26 – The cost of removing dead trees in Houston city parks has been put at $4.5 million by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
The Houston Chronicle, Chris Moran, September 26, 2011.


September 1 – The Texas Forest Service has provided tips on how to water and take care of trees during the exceptional drought conditions most of the state has been experiencing.
The Smithville Times, September 1, 2011.

September 7 – Despite the drought and heat some plants are easy to take care of and thrive in the heat.
My San Antonio, Calvin R. Finch, September 7, 2011.

September 14 – The drought in East Texas is causing many trees to wither in the unusually excessive heat.
Lindale News Times, Terry Cannon, September 14, 2011.

September 15 – A Victoria gardening expert provided tips on how to prepare your organic garden for drought conditions.
The Victoria Advocate, Laurie Garretson, September 15, 2011.

September 21 – Drought has led to the death of about 9,000 trees in Houston city parks.
Houston KUHF, Lauries Johnson, September 21, 2011.

September 23 – Ragweed season this year will be better than usual due to the low number of blooms, directly attributed to the drought.
The Houston Chronicle, Taylor McGilvray, September 23, 2011.

September 24 – Trees in the Big Country may change color earlier this year with a less than spectacular fall foliage season expected because of the drought.
Abilene Reporter News, Larry Zelisko, September 24, 2011.


September 7 – Migrating teal will be hard pressed to find marshes for a layover in Texas this year, making it difficult for hunters even though the flock will be the biggest flock in years.
The Houston Chronicle, Shannon Tompkins, September 7, 2011.

September 9 – By placing guzzlers, hunters can attract wild boar and deer in search of desperately needed water.
Lone Star Outdoor News, Bill Miller, September 9, 2011.

September 16 – The drought has caused the white-tail deer population to dwindle and has driven up costs on food used in deer feeders.
KENS San Antonio, Matthew Cockrell, September 16, 2011.

September 21 – The fishing at Stillhouse Hollow Lake is still quite good despite the drought, as the Brazos River Authority has released water from Stillhouse Hollow Dam throughout the summer.
Kileen Daily Herald, September 21, 2011.

September 24 – The bass population has been thriving at Choke Canyon thanks to high winds that have driven away anglers.
San Angelo Standard Times, David Sikes, September 24, 2011.


September 4 – Players on the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Texas State Bobcats football teams were forced to withstand a dust storm that blew in from the north during the second quarter.
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, David Just, September 4, 2011.

September 5 – A fire sparked by downed power lines filled the College Station air with smoke only hours before the Texas A&M Aggies football game against the SMU Mustangs.
The Battalion (Texas A&M), Madeline Burns, September 5, 2011.

September 8 – The San Marcos river level has dropped to dangerous levels and Sewell Park attendance has suffered due to it.
The University Star (Texas State), Weldon McKinzie, September 8, 2011.

September 9 – Due to excessive dryness and the risk of fire, the mayor of Houston has banned all open flames in city parks.
The Houston Chronicle, Mike Morris, September 9, 2011.

September 15 – The West Texas Rodeo and Fair blamed a drop in agriculture spectacles on the drought.
Abilene Reporter News, Brian Bethel, September 14, 2011.

September 16 – A thunderstorm caused the cancellation of the main attraction at the Plano balloon festival.
KDFW Dallas-Ft. Worth, Brandon Todd, September 16, 2011.

September 21 – The Celina Bobcats homecoming football game was cancelled due to lightning that accompanied a thunderstorm.
Star Newspapers, Chris O'Dell, September 21, 2011.

September 25 – The Austin Marathon Relay went on as planned despite the unusual autumn heat.
KVUE Austin, Shelton Green, September 25, 2011.


September 5 – The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management advised travelers to exercise caution while traveling during the Labor Day weekend because of the numerous wildfires across Texas.
Cypress Creek Mirror, September 5, 2011.

September 17 – Thunderstorms caused road flooding and forced the closure of several roads due to high water.
WFAA Dallas-Ft. Worth, September 17, 2011.

September 20 – The drought has created conditions too dangerous for road blading in Gonzalez County, and because of a potential fire danger, the County Commissioners voted against this practice at a recent meeting.
The Gonzales Inquirer, Rob Ford, September 20, 2011.

September 23 – Automobiles may still suffer from symptoms of heat exhaustion even though the scorching temperatures of summer have started to cool.
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, September 23, 2011.

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