Texas Wildfire Situation, 4/11/11. News from Texas Forest Service

We just had heavy rain in the Houston area, though it only lasted a brief time. Hope the areas north of us are getting rain as well. Please see my previous post showing a county map of Texas.

This is the latest from the Texas Forest Service web site:

CURRENT TEXAS WILDFIRE SITUATION
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Current wildfire response – April 11, 2011

Recent response:

· Yesterday (Sunday, April 10), Texas Forest Service responded to 12 fires burning 22,432 acres, including new large fires in Brewster and Angelina counties.

· In the past seven days TFS has responded to 83 fires for 309,526 acres.

· 180 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.

A Type I incident management team from the Southern Area is being briefing by TFS fire managers this morning and will assume command of the fire in the West Branch. This will include the Rockhouse, Hickman, a new 20,000-acre fire near Alpine, and several smaller fires in the area, including new starts reported this morning due to lightning. Ten 20-person hand crews are en route to assist the team, as well as additional engines and aircraft.


New large fires from yesterday:

UNNAMED, Brewster County. 20,000 acres, no containment. The fire is burning east of Alpine. No additional information was received.

20,000 acres, no containment. The fire is burning east of Alpine. No additional information was received.DUNAGAN, Angelina County. The fire is burning in pine plantation 7 miles east of Lufkin. Eleven homes were saved, none lost.

Uncontained fires from previous days:

ROCKHOUSE, Presidio and Jeff Davis counties. 80,000 acres, 10 percent contained. The fire started Saturday near Marfa and burned rapidly north to Fort Davis. Numerous homes were destroyed as the fire moved through Fort Davis and into the mountains toward Balmorhea. Damage assessments are ongoing to determine the number of homes destroyed. The initial report indicates 20 to40 lost. Eight Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) Type 1 engines and four tenders are assisting with the fire.

SWENSON, Stonewall, King, and Knox counties. 71,000 acres, 25 percent contained. The fire is burning near in rough terrain and heavy fuels three miles north of Swenson. Depending on wind speed and direction, the town of Benjamin in Knox County could be threatened. Five TIFMAS strike teams of engines and numerous TXDOT graders and dozers are assisting TFS. The fire will be mapped by aircraft this morning to determine current acreage.

HICKMAN, Midland County. 16,500 acres, 95 percent contained. Thirty-four homes were reported destroyed on this fire burning on the south side of Midland.

KILLOUGH, Garza County. 40,000 acres, 50 percent contained. Sixty homes were saved and one destroyed on this fire six miles south of Post. The fire made a significant run yesterday and is currently threatening an additional 150 homes near White River Lake. Heavy air tankers were used to slow the spread of the fire late yesterday.

HOHERTZ, Eastland and Stephens counties. 2,100 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire is burning 20 miles southeast of Breckenridge. Thirty homes were saved. The National Guard Blackhawk helicopters from Austin assisted.

CRAWFORD RANCH, Moore and Potter counties. 60,000 acres, 80 percent contained. The fire is burning in tall grass near Masterson.

CAMP BOWIE FIRE, Brown County. 3,355 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning on the Camp Bowie Military Reservation south of Brownwood. Fire activity is minimal within the perimeter and little growth is expected.

SANDERSON, Terrell County. 3,595 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is approximately 50 miles southeast of Ft. Stockton.

COTTON RANCH, Tom Green and Sterling counties. The fire is burning between Sterling and San Angelo.


Prevention messages:

· Obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Texas.

· Keep lawn mowers and agricultural equipment in proper working condition and avoid rocks and other materials which might cause a spark.

· To report suspicious activities, call the Arson Hotline at (888) 501-3850. If possible, safely obtain an accurate description of the person and/or vehicle (including the license number) before calling the hotline.

· Humans cause more than 90 percent of all wildfires. Do not weld or cut without a spotter, a water source and a shovel.
Alan Craft
Public Information Officer
Texas State Lone Star Incident Management Team
979-229-7921

Current wildfire status – April 10, 2011 – 5:54 p.m.

Today the Texas Forest Service responded to six calls for assistance from local fire departments. 

New Fires:

Newton County, No. 232 -1 acre; 1 unoccupied mobile home; 1 out building, 1 horse trailer lost; fire is controlled.

Angelina County, No. 231 – 129 acres; 100 percent contained; 11 structures threatened; 1 camper lost.

Sabine County, No. 233 – 1 acre; private land – 10 acres are U.S. Forest Service land; controlled.

Polk County, No. 234 – 7 acres; contained.

Franklin County, No. 138 – 1 acre; controlled.

Jasper County, No. 230 – 1 acre; controlled.

Fires Previously Reported:

Eastland County, Cunningham Fire – 25 acres; 100 percent contained; caused by railroad operations.

Robertson County, No. 229 – 50 acres; two houses saved; caused by Rail Road operations; controlled.

Eastland/Stephens/Palo Pinto Counties, Hohertz Fire – Located 9 miles northwest of Strawn. 21,000 acres; 75 percent contained. TFS Resources include air resources, bulldozers and engines.

Midland County, Hickman Fire – 16,500 acres. Fire very active; 0 percent containment. Red Cross shelter established at Midland College; 34 homes confirmed lost; unknown containment.

Wood County, No. 136 – 20 acres; TFS resources on scene. 

Presidio County, Rock House – 60,000 acres; 0 percent contained TFS resources include: TIFMAS; bulldozers and engines; 3 Air Tankers; three 20-person hand crews; Local resources include: VFDs; Texas Dept of Public Safety, Texas Department of Transportation; 30 to 40 homes lost in Fort Davis; 1 confirmed in Marfa

Potter/Moore Counties, Crawford Ranch – Located near Masterson; 60,000 acres; 50 percent contained. Fire is a threat to the towns of Dumas and Sunray; no evacuations.

Garza County, Killough – 10,500 acres; 95 percen contained. TFS resources include air resources; 1 home lost.

Stonewall/Knox/King Counties, Swenson Fire – 71,000 acres; 0 percent contained. TFS resources include air resources; five task forces (bulldozers and engines). 2 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike teams; Cause: cutting pipe.

Terrell County, Sanderson – 3,595 acres; 75 contained. TFS resources on scene: bulldozers and engines.

Andrews County, Sand Ranch – 4,610 acres; 100 percent contained; TFS resources on scene: bulldozers and engines; cause is under investigation.

Rusk County, No. 101 – 2 acres; controlled.

Wood County, No. 136 – 42 acres; contained.

Alan Craft
Public Information Officer
Texas State Lone Star Incident Management Team
979-229-7921

Current wildfire status – April 10, 2011 – 9:54 a.m.

** Critical fire weather is forecast today for the western half of the state. Sustained winds are expected to reach near 40 mph and relative humidity will be in the single digits. **
Recent response:

· Yesterday (Saturday, April 9), Texas Forest Service responded to 16 fires burning 65,181 acres.

· 180 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.


The following large fires were reported Saturday:

Rockhouse, Presidio County. 25,600 acres. Acreage not updated since Saturday evening. The fire ran from Marfa, through the town of Ft. Davis and into the mountains north of the town, within 13 miles of Balmorhea. Up to 50 homes have been lost. A Type 1 incident management team has been ordered from the Southern Area. Eight Type 1 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) engines are en route, as well as three hotshot crews. One Type 6 TIFMAS strike team is assigned.

Hickman, Midland County. 15,873 acres. The fire is burning in the southern part of Midland. Up to 40 homes have been lost.

Crawford Ranch, Moore County. 20,000 acres. The fire was making significant runs yesterday. Numerous homes are threatened.

Killough, Garza County. 6,500 acres. Two Type 6 TIFMAS strike teams are in place. One home was destroyed. No other information was received.

Hohertz, Eastland/Stephens/Palo Pinto counties. 1,600 acres. The fire was moving fast through thick fuels and rough terrain Saturday. Two National Guard Blackhawk helicopters will be responding from Austin this morning.
Crews continue to work on the following fires:

Swenson, Stonewall County. 71,000 acres. The fire was very active on Saturday, but crews were able to hold it on a road on the north. Four TIFMAS strike teams are assigned. Three air tankers dropped 60,000 gallons of retardant yesterday.

Sanderson, Terrell County. 3,590 acres. The fire is near containment.

Cotton Ranch, Tom Green/Sterling counties. 2,930 acres. The fire is near containment.

Camp Bowie, Brown County. 3,355 acres. The fire is near containment.


Prevention messages:

· Obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Texas.

· Keep lawn mowers and agricultural equipment in proper working condition and avoid rocks and other materials which might cause a spark.

· To report suspicious activities, call the Arson Hotline at (888) 501-3850. If possible, safely obtain an accurate description of the person and/or vehicle (including the license number) before calling the hotline.

· Humans cause more than 90 percent of all wildfires. Do not weld or cut without a spotter, a water source and a shovel.


About M.J.Deare

I am a writer, actively researching topics of interest. I am also a graduate of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, with a degree in English, and have a master's degree from the University of Memphis. Born in New Orleans, I lived there until moving to northwest Arkansas and from there to Memphis, Tennessee. My husband and I currently reside in The Woodlands, Texas.
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