Wildfire activity in Texas has increased over the past two weeks due to high temperatures and a lack of rain. The Texas A&M Forest Service reported some areas of the state are at risk of “significant wildfires” through the end of September and early October.

According to a news release, wildfires are possible through Sept. 30 in Central and Southeast Texas as well as the Western Pineywoods region in East Texas. Areas with pine trees and yaupon holly will be more susceptible to fires.

Over the weekend, minimal rainfall, low humidity and high winds will lead to high wildfire danger in the Texas Panhandle, according to the release.

Texas received sufficient rain in late August, followed by lower temperatures near the end of September. But experts said that is not enough to prevent wildfires.

“[August’s rainfall] helped to significantly slow the operational tempo for wildland firefighters,” TFS Fire Chief Wes Moorehead said in the release. “However, the benefits of that moisture have started to wane, and we are, once again, observing dry conditions across the state that [are] resulting in increased wildfire activity.”

Moorehead said firefighters have responded to over 9,800 fires this year. Texas has two wildfire seasons: the “growing season,” which occurs in the summer, and the “dormant season,” which typically begins in February and continues through mid-spring.

According to TFS public information officer Erin O’Connor, 2022 was “the most significant year for wildfire activity [in] Texas since 2011.”

Although wildfire activity had decreased substantially by the end of September, O’Connor said the summer fire season was not quite over.

On Sept. 28, the TFS reported that observed fire danger was very high in Austin and San Antonio, north of Dallas-Fort Worth and in a small portion of East Texas. Fire danger was moderate in most of Texas with high fire danger in scattered areas.

The TFS updates its maps for observed and forecast fire danger daily.

Nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by people, according to TFS program specialist Heather Gonzales. Texans should be careful doing any activities that may cause sparks, such as welding, cutting and grinding materials outdoors, Gonzales told Community Impact Newspaper in July.

Wildfires are also caused by towing improperly secured trailers, burning debris, leaving campfires unattended, dropping cigarettes and committing arson, according to the TFS and the National Park Service.

Ninety-four Texas counties are under burn bans as of Sept. 28.