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Local emergency authorities urge caution as dry weather conditions expected to worsen

As dry weather conditions are expected to worsen throughout the week, local emergency authorities are asking valley resident to not take the burn ban lightly.

As dry weather conditions are expected to worsen throughout the week, local emergency authorities are asking Valley resident to not take the burn ban lightly.

"We had a lot of vegetation prior to this with the rains that we got,” said Ricardo Saldaña with the Hidalgo County Emergency Management. “This freeze and the snow storms have dried up that vegetation."

Saldaña says the emergency response team is very concerned about the northern ranchlands.

In March, Saldaña says he met with farmers one-on-one in the Linn-San Manuel area of northern Hidalgo County to prepare them and their property for the potential of a major wildfire – similar to that of 2008, where 40,000 acres burned in the ranchlands.

"The concern is that any fires that do develop or do ignite [...] they will spread rapidly and quickly and possibly become uncontrollable," said meteorologist Chris Birchfield with the National Weather Service in Brownsville.

The National Weather Service in Brownsville is warning most of South Texas to be very cautious about outdoor fires, throwing cigarette butts out the window and even leaving an idling car over grass. Any of these activities could cause a quick wildfire.

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