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Expect a cold Christmas in the Crossroads

By DAVID TEWES
Dec. 23, 2010 at 6:23 a.m.


Fire conditions Gov. Rick Perry issued a disaster proclamation for more than 240 of the state's counties because of the extreme fire hazard.

Crossroads counties included are Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Matagorda, Refugio, Victoria and Wharton.

Perry directed that all necessary measures be implemented to meet the threat.

The Texas Forest Service also issued a warning that there is an elevated fire risk through New Year's Day.

A cold front expected to roll through the Crossroads Friday will bring a widespread freeze and an elevated wildfire danger this weekend.

"I would recommend no one burn during that period and pay attention to the weather conditions and be extra cautious," said Ron Pray, the Victoria County fire marshal. "The fire could get out of hand pretty quickly under those high-wind and low-humidity conditions."

He said the abundance of dry vegetation would be a plentiful supply of fuel for any fire that does get out of control. Wind and dry conditions behind the cold front would only make the situation worse, he said.

"We're just going to continue to be ready for whatever occurs," Pray said.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a 40-percent chance of showers or thunderstorms Friday and Friday night, although amounts will be relatively light.

Friday's high should be in the mid-70s before dropping into the low 40s Friday night.

"By Christmas Eve, a cold front will come through and by Christmas morning it will be much cooler and drier," said Douglas Vogelsang with the National Weather Service. "For Christmas night, we're looking at lows right around 30 degrees."

A low of 30 degrees is expected again Sunday night. Vogelsang said conditions will be borderline for a hard freeze, with some outlying areas possibly dipping into the upper 20s.

Highs Saturday and Sunday will be in the 50s, with no rain forecast.

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