COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M Forest Service (TAMFS) is reminder hunters to be careful with activities that may spark a wildfire this hunting season.

According to a press release from TAMFS, nine out of 10 wildfires in Texas are human caused. It said 65 percent of wildfires that occur during hunting season are caused by debris burning and equipment use.

“Texas A&M Forest Service wants all hunters to be safe this upcoming season,” said Karen Stafford, Texas A&M Forest Service State Wildfire Prevention Program Leader in the press release. “We all have a role to play in protecting our state from wildfires, so remember to do your part and don’t let a wildfire start.”

It only takes one spark to start a wildfire, and hunters are encouraged to be cautious outdoors.

TAMFS offered these tips in the press release to help avoid starting a wildfire while hunting and camping:

  • Avoid driving over and parking on dry grass – the heat from your vehicle can easily ignite the grass.
  • Always check with local officials for burn bans or other outdoor burning restrictions. Each county in Texas sets and lifts their own burn bans. Make sure you know your county’s burn ban status and if it restricts open flames and other heat-causing activities such as using charcoal. View the latest burn ban map here: https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/burnbans/.
  • Never leave a cooking fire or campfire unattended, and always make sure it is completely out by drowning it, stirring it and feeling to ensure that it is out cold before you leave.
  • When taking a trailer out on your adventures, make sure that the tires are properly inflated, chains will not contact the road and that any loose metal will not continually hit anything else, all which can cause sparks.
  • Always be ready to put out a fire should one start. Have a shovel and water with you in camp and have a fire extinguisher with you at all times.

For additional information about preventing wildfires this hunting season, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/HuntingFireSafety/.