Texas Wildfire Situation Report 4/27/11

Current wildfire status – April 27, 2011 from Texas Forest Service

Recent response:

· Texas Forest Service responded to seven new large fires yesterday (Tuesday, April 26).

· 213 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.

· We’re currently working on 17 major fires burning more than 573,500 acres.

New large fires from Tuesday:

SCOTT RANCH, Irion County. 10,000 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire is burning in tall grass and brush 12 miles northeast of Barnhart. Extreme fire behavior is occurring and the fire is burning through areas with oil and gas wells and storage tanks.

PLEASANT FARMS, Ector County. 4,000 acres, no containment. Seventy-five homes are threatened; one has been lost on this fire 15 miles southwest of Odessa.

C-BAR, Crane County. 4,500 acres, no containment. The fire is five miles north of Crane. Residents were temporarily evacuated from a nursing home in Crane but have been allowed to return. Extreme rates of spread were observed.

OASIS PIPELINE, Kimble County. 6,000 acres, no containment. Twenty homes are threatened on the fire four miles northwest of Telegraph. The fire is running and spotting in juniper and is moving toward Junction.

BOYS RANCH, Potter and Oldham counties. 500 acres, no containment. The fire is burning in tall grass 17 miles northwest of Amarillo.

CHAMPION, Mitchell County. 4,500 acres, no containment. Six homes are threatened on this fire five miles south of Colorado City. Three homes were lost last night.

HAPPY, Castro County. 3,000 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire is burning in tall grass 11 miles west of Happy.
Uncontained fires from previous days:

ROCKHOUSE, Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties. 230,904 acres, 75 percent contained. Additional growth is expected to the north and east as strong winds and low relative humidity are expected across the area again today. Twenty-three homes and 2 commercial structures were destroyed in the Ft. Davis area in the initial burning period. The Buffalo Trail Boy Scout Ranch remains threatened. Approximately 300 firefighters continue to work the fire burning in heavy brush and pinyon-juniper in Madera Canyon. Difficult terrain is causing control problems on the west side of the fire. Crews continue to conduct burnout operations.

DEATON COLE, Val Verde County. 7,000 acres, 10 percent contained. The fire is in rugged terrain 40 miles southwest of Ozona, burning in tall grass and brush. Three residences are threatened. Heavy airtankers, single-engine airtankers, and helicopters worked the fire most of the day, but strong, gusty winds and low relative humidity pushed the fire out of containment lines late yesterday. Additional aviation resources have been ordered for today.

FULLER, Scurry County. 3,500 acres, 70 percent contained. The fire is 15 miles northwest of Snyder. Three TFS taskforces and a TIFMAS strike responded, along with numerous heavy airtankers and helicopters.

SPADE RANCH, Terry County. 4,000 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire is burning 43 miles southwest of Lubbock in tall grass. Eight structures are threatened.

MATHIS, Cottle County. 300 acres, 90 percent contained. One home was saved on this fire just on the north side of Paducah.

T-BAR RANCH, Lynn County. 1500 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning in grass 20 miles south of Lubbock. There are no structures threatened.

TAYLOR, Concho County. 654 acres, 95 percent contained. Six miles east of Eden. One building was temporarily evacuated as the south flank of the fire moved rapidly through tall grass and brush.

PK COMPLEX, Stephens and Palo Pinto Counties. 126,734 acres, 90 percent contained. The acreage decrease is due to more accurate GPS mapping. 167 homes and 2 churches have been destroyed on this complex of four fires burning near Possum Kingdom Lake, Caddo, Strawn and Bunger, which have all had evacuations. Lower winds and higher humidity have helped firefighters gain the upper hand, although scattered hot spots and smoldering continue on the interior. TFS task forces, TIFMAS resources, 3 Helitankers, and 3 Type III Helicopters are assisting on the fire. The Type I Incident Management Team (Wilder) is expected to be released from the fire later this week.

WILDCAT, Coke County. 159,308 acres, 80 percent contained. This fire is burning in tall grass north of San Angelo. More than 400 homes have been saved, one was destroyed. The communities of Grape Creek, Quail Valley, Bronte, Robert Lee, Tennyson and Orient were threatened, but all evacuation orders have been lifted.

PIPELINE, Tyler County. 7,100 acres, 90 percent contained. Forty homes were threatened by this fire which is burning in pine plantation 10 miles Northeast of Kountze. Two Type 2 hand crews continue to mop up interior smokes.

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.

Current wildfire status – April 26, 2011 – 9:18 a.m.

Critical fire weather today over critically dry fuels will provide increased potential for significant fires.

Recent response:

· We’re currently working on 10 major fires that cover more than 530,000 acres.

· 211 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.


New large fires from Monday:

DETON COLE, Val Verde County. 4,300 acres, 15 percent contained. The fire is in rugged terrain 40 miles southwest of Ozona, burning in tall grass and brush. Three residences are threatened. Texas Forest Service taskforces worked the fire last night and additional aviation resources have been requested to respond today.

SPADE RANCH, Terry County. 4,000 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire is burning 43 miles southwest of Lubbock in tall grass. No structures are threatened.

FULLER, Scurry County. 2,000 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire is 15 miles northwest of Snyder. Three TFS taskforces and a Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike responded.

MATHIS, Cottle County. 300 acres, 50 percent contained. One home was saved on this fire just on the north side of Paducah.

T-BAR RANCH, Lynn County. 1,500 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning in grass 20 miles south of Lubbock. There are no structures threatened.

TAYLOR, Concho County. 500 acres, 75 percent contained. Six miles east of Eden. One building was temporarily evacuated as the south flank of the fire moved rapidly through tall grass and brush.


Uncontained fires from previous days:

PK COMPLEX, Stephens and Palo Pinto Counties. 126,734 acres, 80 percent contained. The acreage decrease is due to more accurate GPS mapping. 167 homes and two churches have been destroyed on this complex of four fires burning near Possum Kingdom Lake, Caddo, Strawn and Bunger, which have all had evacuations. Lower winds and higher humidity have helped firefighters gain the upper hand, although scattered hot spots and smoldering continue on the interior. TFS task forces, TIFMAS resources, three helitankers and three Type III helicopters are assisting on the fire. The Type I Incident Management Team (Wilder) is expected to be released from the fire later this week.

ROCKHOUSE, Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties. 224,956 acres, 75 percent contained. Additional growth is expected to the north and east as strong winds and low relative humidity are expected across the area. Twenty-three homes and two commercial structures were destroyed in the Fort Davis area in the initial burning period. The Buffalo Trail Boy Scout Ranch remains threatened. Approximately 300 firefighters continue to work the fire burning in heavy brush and pinyon-juniper in Madera Canyon. Difficult terrain is causing control problems on the west side of the fire. Crews continue to conduct burnout operations. A base camp for hundreds of firefighters has been set up at the Fort Davis State Park.

WILDCAT, Coke County. 159,308 acres, 80 percent contained. This fire is burning in tall grass north of San Angelo. More than 400 homes have been saved; one was destroyed. The communities of Grape Creek, Quail Valley, Bronte, Robert Lee, Tennyson and Orient were threatened, but all evacuation orders have been lifted.

PIPELINE, Tyler County. 7,100 acres, 90 percent contained. Forty homes were threatened by this fire which is burning in pine plantation 10 miles Northeast of Kountze. Two Type 2 hand crews continue to mop up interior smokes.


WEATHER OUTLOOK:

West Texas: A strong low pressure system will move east today sending the dryline farther east to near the I-35 corridor by afternoon. Strong winds on the back side of this system will result in extremely critical fire weather conditions across all of the West Branch and southern portions of the Northwest Branch.

East Texas: Warm and humid conditions will persist today across East Texas. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected. Some of these storms will be severe with large hail and damaging winds. Isolated tornadoes will also be possible with the strongest storms.
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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