Here is the latest from the Texas Forest Service. When will this end?
Current Wildfire Status – April 30, 2011 (10 a. m. update)
• Texas Forest Service responded to six major fires on Friday.
• We’re currently working on 16 major fires that span 676,855 acres
• 211 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans. Map attached.
New large fires from yesterday (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
CLARK RANCH, Throckmorton County. 2,000 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire has burned into the Miller Creek Fire in Baylor County.
WAGGONER RANCH (Wagner), Wilbarger County. 3000 acres, 75 percent contained. Fifty homes were threatened on this fire burning in tall grass four miles southwest of Harold.
SISK, Archer/Wichita counties. 200 acres, 10 percent contained. Five hundred homes were evacuated and two were destroyed on this fire burning six miles southwest of Wichita Falls.
OLYMPIA, Hockley County. 3,000 acres, 25 percent containment. The fire is burning 13 miles southwest of Littlefield.
MILLER CREEK, Baylor County. 3,000 acres, no containment. The fire is burning 10 miles southeast of Goree and has burned into the Clark Ranch Fire in Throckmorton County. A TFS taskforce responded. This fire will be considered the Clark Fire henceforth.
PECAN CREEEK COMPLEX, Tom Green County. 840 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning just south of San Angelo. Seventy-five homes were evacuated but none were lost.
Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
ROCKHOUSE, Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties. 310,995 acres, 74 percent contained. Forty-one homes and 2 commercial structures were destroyed in the Ft. Davis area in the initial burning period. Approximately 400 firefighters and support personnel 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. Airtankers flew numerous missions yesterday to help support ground operations. A base camp for hundreds of firefighters has been set up at the Ft. Davis State Park. The fire is being managed by the Southern Area Type I Incident Management Team.
DEATON COLE, Val Verde County. 150,000 acres, 5 percent contained. The fire is in rugged terrain 30 miles southwest of Ozona, burning in tall grass and brush. Numerous ranch houses are threatened. Three strike teams of TIFMAS engines are in place today. A burnout operation is planned today for the north side of the fire to help stop the spread towards Ozona. A SEAT base has been set up in Ozona to support fire operations.
OASIS, Kimble County. 9,600 acres, 80 percent contained. A large spot over occurred yesterday, but numerous air resources responded rapidly and helped slow the spread of the fire that is burning approximately four miles from Junction. Mandatory evacuations were issued for an area southeast of Junction. A TIFMAS strike team of engines is en route to do structure protection.
CR 266, Duval County. 1,500 acres, 95 percent contained. Eight homes were threatened on this fire burning in tall grass six miles southeast of Realitos.
SCOTT RANCH, Irion County. 11,233 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning in tall grass and brush 12 miles northeast of Barnhart.
PLEASANT FARMS, Ector County (and C-BAR, Crane County). 15,479 acres, 90 percent contained. The C-Bar and Pleasant Farms fires burned together. All information will be reported under Pleasant Farms. Seventy-five homes are threatened; one has been lost on this fire 15 miles southwest of Odessa.
BOYS RANCH, Potter and Oldham counties. 500 acres, 85 percent contained. The fire is burning in tall grass 17 miles northwest of Amarillo. Six homes were saved.
CHAMPION, Mitchell County. 1,000 acres, 80 percent contained. Six homes are threatened on this fire five miles south of Colorado City. Three homes were lost.
FULLER, Scurry County. 5,200 acres, 90 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.
WILDCAT, Coke County. 159,308 acres, 95 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.
West Zone: Critical fire weather conditions are expected across portions of the West, Northwest, and South Branches today west of the dry line and south of a cold front that will be moving into the state. By mid-afternoon the dry line will stretch from just south of Abilene southwestward towards Kerrville and Del Rio. The front will stretch from near Lubbock to just south of Abilene, and then northeastward through Forth Worth and Texarkana. Behind the dry line RH values will drop below 20%, with 10% or less west of a line from Lubbock to Midland. Winds will be from the west southwest at 20-30 mph, with gusts to 40mph. Elevated fire weather conditions will exist along the front and across Central Branch, southern North Branch, and most of South and South Central Branches. Winds across southern North Branch, Central and South Central Branches will be 20-30 mph with gusts to 35 mph and RH values will range from 30-50%. RH values along the immediate coast will be 50-60%. Areas of Northwest and North Branches behind the front will see winds out of the NE at 15-20 mph with gusts to 25 mph and RH values of 10-15% across Northwest Branch and 30-50% across North Branch.
East Zone: Elevated fire weather conditions will exist across the southern portion of East Branch where strong south winds will exists south of a cold front along a line from Corsicana to Texarkana. Winds south of this front will be out of the south at 25-35 mph with gusts to 45 mph. RH values across the elevated area will be between 40-50%, while the rest of East Branch will see RH values in excess of 50% and greater than 60% across the far north. There is a chance of thunderstorms along and just south of the front from Saturday afternoon into Saturday night. Some of the thunderstorms may be strong or severe.
• 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.