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Texas fires lead to hazy, smoky air in Austin

Fires across the state, like in Eastland County, have resulted in hazy air in other parts of Texas. (Texas A&M Forest Service)

Fires across the state and in Austin are resulting in hazy conditions and a smoky odor in the air on Friday.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reports the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups, but that light winds, warm temperatures and afternoon sunshine should help increase air quality into the afternoon.

Affecting the air quality are fires across the state. Almost 123,000 acres have burned in Texas this month, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service—more than three times other Marches. This week, more than 54,000 acres burned in Eastland County, near Fort Worth as a result of dry weather.

Additionally, at around 11 a.m. Friday, Austin firefighters responded to a fire near Parmer Lane and McNeil Road, resulting in large amounts of smoke in Northwest Austin this morning. A Fire Weather Watch has been issued until 7 p.m. as weather remains dry in the Austin area.

The air quality is expected to come down to moderate conditions on Saturday and Sunday before leveling out to "good" at the start of the week.

To further increase air quality, the TCEQ has made Friday an Ozone Action Day in the Austin, San Antonio and Houston areas. This means people are recommended to share a ride, walk, bike, take your lunch to work, avoid drive-through lanes, conserve energy, and keep your vehicle properly tuned.

If required, the same recommendations will be requested tomorrow; the TCEQ will take action by 3 p.m. Friday.


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