Tuesday Lt. Governor David Dewhurst issued select interim charges to six Senate committees and one subcommittee focusing on the extreme drought conditions and destructive wildfires that have burned across Texas this year.
"Texas is currently facing an unprecedented wildfire season compounded by one of the worst droughts in our state's history," Dewhurst said. "The drought has had a devastating and far-reaching impact across the entire state, and the legislature must use all of the resources at our disposal to prepare and respond in the event these severe drought conditions persist."
The past twelve months — from October 2010 through September 2011 — have been the driest in Texas since 1895, when the state first began keeping rainfall records. Over roughly the same time period, Texas responded to more than 24,000 fires, burning over 3.8 million acres and destroying more than 7,000 homes and businesses.