Texas Wildfire Update, 4/18/11: 18 New Fires Yesterday

News from the Texas Forest Service this morning:

Wildfire update – April 17, 2011 – 8:12 p.m.
Texas Forest Service has responded to 18 new fires today.NEW FIRES
Travis County, Pinnacle Fire – 60 acres, six homes involved, 100 homes threatened, 10 businesses threatened, Austin Community College Pinnacle Campus threatened. There are evacuations in progress. This fire is displaying extreme behavior and is moving fast. There are crown runs in the cedar and live oak canopy with some short range spotting.Two Starflight helicopters are on scene.

Cass County, No. 145 – 2 acres. 100 percent contained. Investigation of cause under way.

Nacogdoches County, No. 127 – 7 acres, contained, one home destroyed, 20 to 30 homes threatened at a pine plantation and forest. At one point the fire jumped containment lines, fire back under containment.

Nacogdoches County, No. 129 – two acres, CR 823 heavy brush.

Cherokee County, No. 128 – 10 acres, FM 1345, mature mixed pine, no threats.

Cherokee County, No. 126 – 10 acres, mobile home threatened and saved.

Cherokee County, No. 130 – 3 acres, one mobile home threatened, one outbuilding lost.

Jasper County, No. 276 – 1 acre, debris.

Hardin County, No. 274 – 1 acre.

Grimes County, No. 273 – 3 acres, south of Plantersville. Fire under investigation.

Jefferson County, No. 275 – 2 acres.

Jones County, CR 310 – 100 acres.

Smith County, No. 131 – unknown acres, large grass fire.

Liberty County, No. 277 – 7 acres, two homes threatened. 100 percent contained.

Walker County, No. 281 – 2 acres, rekindle from last week at FM 3478.

Walker County, No. 280 – 1 acre, catchout, debris, law enforcement violation.

Harris County, No. 279 – 1 acre, no threats at this time unless winds change.

Trinity County, Josserand South Fire – 1,369 acres. Crews continuing to mop up.

CARRYOVER FIRES

Eastland County, County Road 104 Fire – 1,400 acres. Five homes and one vehicle destroyed.

Jack County, Bryson Fire Complex, two fires – 7,500 acres. 14 businesses and 140 home and outbuildings threatened. 70 people evacuated yesterday. 50 percent contained. Jack County is now without power.

Motley County, Middle Pease Fire – 400 acres. No TFS resources on this fire today. 75 percent contained.

Nacogdoches County, No. 121 – 20 acres, controlled on a 20-year old plantation. Cause is under investigation.

Liberty County, No. 266 – 30 acres, no other information at this time.

Tyler and Hardin Counties, Pipeline Fire (No. 260) – 3,000 acres, 30 to40 homes threatened. This fire is reported to be jumping roads, burning hot and spotting 75 yards ahead. It has jumped from Hardin County to Tyler County. TFS resources committed to this fire today include two Texas Army National Guard blackhawks, air attack, two TFS helicopters, four tractor plow units, a National Parks dozer, a TIMO dozer and a private dozer.

Tyler County. Thirty to 40 homes are threatened and evacuated and oil tanks are threatened. TFS resources responding include a Texas Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter and two dozers.

Hardin County, No. 259 – 10 acres. Unknown threats.

Harding County, No. 257 – 10 acres. Two homes threatened.

Hardin County, No. 256 off Hwy 787 west of Votaw – 7 acres.

Tyler County, No. 258 – 5 acres, one home saved, contained and controlled.
Shelby County, No. 122 – 12 acres

Cherokee County, No. 123 – 4 acres

Gregg County, No. 124 – 10 acres

Montgomery County, No. 265 – 3 acres

Stephens County, Jackson Ranch Fire – 2,270 acres, 50 percent contained. The town of Caddo was evacuated today. TFS resources responding today include a Task Force of dozers and engines, a TIFMAS Strike Team of engines, and 2 heavy Helitankers.

Wichita County, Wichita County Complex – 11,795 acres in three separate fires, 90 percent contained: Iowa Park West, Missile, and Holiday Fires. On the first day of this fire there were seven homes and 6 out buildings lost with 27 direct saves. TFS resources responding today was a Task Force of Engines and dozers. TFS resources have been released from this fire.

Stonewall, Knox and King Counties, Swenson Fire – 120,000 acres, 90 percent contained. 3 ranch complexes threatened. TFS resources responding today include Air Attack, a heavy helicopter, a Task Force of dozers and engines, and two Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) Strike Teams of engines.

Kent, Stonewall, Fisher and Scurry Counties – Cooper Mtn Ranch Fire. – 162,473 acres, 122 mile perimeter. 80 percent contained. There were 4 homes lost. TFS resources responding today include a heavy helicopter, 2 task forces of dozers and engines, 20-person hand crew and 3 strike teams of TIFMAS engines.

Stephens County, PK West Fire, Palo Pinto County, Hohertz Fire and PK East Fire – These 3 fires are burning in close proximity to each other and will be combined into a Fire Complex. 55,000 acres. 10 percent contained. 32 homes and one church have been destroyed since the fire started along with an estimated 90 head of cattle. The community of Strawn along with an area west of Hwy 16, south of Possum Kingdom Lake to I-20 and Possum Kingdom peninsula. An Incident Command Post has been established south of Strawn on Hwy 16. TFS resources committed to these 3 fires today include 2 Air Attacks, 3 heavy Helitankers, 2 TXARNG Blackhawk Helicopters, three 20-person hand crews, 3 Task Forces of dozers and engines, 5 TIFMAS Stike Teams of engines, and 2 TIFMAS Task Forces of engines and water tenders .
Hardin County, No.245 Post Oak Fire – 76 acres Extreme fire behavior noted on this fire on Friday.

Eastland County, East Sidywnicks – 3,000 acres. 95 percent contained. TFS resources were released from this fire this afternoon.
Houston County, No. 251 Fire – 70 acres. Three homes threatened and saved. Fire is contained. Debris burning was the fire cause.

Trinity County, No. 254 – 1,100 acres. This fire has doubled in size from Friday. Extreme fire behavior noted on this fire with crowning and spotting. TFS resources responding include a helicopter, a dozer and two US Forest Service dozers.

Dimmit County, Diamond H Fire – 115 acres. 100 percent contained.

Hardin County, No. 270 – 35 acres, 100 percent contained.

WEST TEXAS TRANS PECOS COMPLEX

The Southern Area Incident Management Blue Team is continuing to assist with management of active fires in the Trans Pecos Complex. For more information on these and other fires in West Texas, contact C.J. Norvell, Blue Team Public Information Officer at 432-688-9234 ortranspecosfires@gmail.com

Most Active Fires:
Coke County, Wildcat Fire near Grape Creek – 130,000 acres , 10 percent contained
Crews worked through the night to protect communities by doing structure protection and burnouts south of road 158. Firefighters continue to be concerned about south winds; crews are conducting burnout operations to protect the community of Robert Lee. Roads 208 and part of road 158 closed, mandatory evacuations are in place for Lake Spence and residents living around Greenland and Lometa Roads, voluntary evacuations are in place for Tennyson.

Jeff Davis County, Rockhouse Fire near Ft. Davis – 182,007 acres, 70 percent contained. Firefighters are focusing on the NW flank of the fire as it is projected to spread into Bob Manning Canyon. Crews plan to construct line and continue burnout operations. Burnout operations will be conducted today to protect the Mc Donald Observatory.

Crockett County, Sutton Fire near Ozona – 8,000 acres, 10 percent contained. Resources were released yesterday from the Little Smokey Fire to help local crews with the Sutton Fire which has the potential to spread rapidly.

Andrews County, Frying Pan Ranch Fire near Andrews – 80,907 acres 50% contained

Sutton County McPherson Fire near Sonora – 1,500 acres 20 percent contained

Tom Green County- Encino Fire near Carlsbad – 12,659 acres 90 percent contained

Pecos County, Cannon Group near Iraan – 41, 521 acres
Cannon Fire: 9,248 acres ,80 percent contained
DHR: 26,284 acres, 80 percent contained
Little Smokey: 27,895 acres, 80 percent contained.
Yates Field: 300 acres, 50 percent contained

For information on road closures please go tohttp://www.dot.state.tx.us/travel/road_conditions.htm or call 800 452-9292.

Currently there are approximately 1,388 firefighting personnel being managed by the Texas Forest Service from 34 states assigned to Texas fires. This figure does not include Volunteer Fire Department responders.

Marq Webb
Public Information Officer
Texas State Lone Star Incident Management Team
979-229-7921

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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