AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Fire Department said they sent a crew of four people as a part of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System to help fight the Dry Branch fire near Star, Texas late Wednesday night.

Star is roughly two hours northwest of Austin. The Dry Branch fire is 4,000 acres and containment is only 35%, AFD said.

There are several fires burning across Texas Thursday. The Texas A&M Forest Service said four new wildfires started Wednesday, burning nearly 4,500 acres across our state. Fire crews with the state forest service are working nine active fires Thursday, including one near Abilene that has burned dozens of homes.

As a result, the state raised the wildland fire preparedness level to a five Wednesday. That’s the highest level.

They said the potential for large fires to get out of hand is high in Texas Thursday. They also said conditions across the state and the wildfires already burning could mean the state’s resources are stretched thin.

“Level 5 is the highest level of wildland fire activity and indicates heavy resource commitment to fires across the state,” they said in a release. “At this level, all fire-qualified resources become available for response.”

Here in Central Texas, we could get some much needed rainfall over the next week. You can find the forecast for the Austin area on KXAN’s First Warning weather page.