The La Nina weather pattern is cooling the ocean, and that typically leads to abnormally warm and dry weather in the Permian Basin. But the Basin also had a lot of rain early last year, so there's plenty of dried out grass and fuel laying around.
Another major factor for fires, though, will be the temperature. And warm, windy days are a problem.
"Temperature is an important player in fires," Greg Murdoch of the National Weather Service told Big 2. "You can, of course, have fires in cold weather, but to get more numerous and larger fires, they are associated with days with above normal temperatures."
The National Weather Service expects that dry weather will continue through spring. They add that any rain we do get will most likely provide minor relief, but nothing substantial.