Texas Wildfires: Update 6/21/11

Here’s the latest from the Texas Forest Service. The list of fires is long, and the news is grim, to say the least. Let’s pray for rain today, and please keep the firefighters in your thoughts and prayers as well. At least it isn’t as windy today, and the humidity is up.

Wildfire update – June 21, 2011

Current situation:

· Texas Forest Service responded yesterday to seven new large fires.

· A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been requested to assist with the Bearing and Power Line fires in East Texas.

· Due to the shortage of aviation resources, four National Guard Blackhawk helicopters and two Chinooks were activated.

· The Cowboy (Jasper Co., 184 acres), DHI (Pecos Co., 8,000 acres), Patillo (Erath Co., 300 acres), Masterson (Moore Co., 5,000 acres), Schaffner (Clay Co., 400 acres) and the Father’s Day (Cochran Co., 3,000 acres) fires were contained yesterday.

· Sadly, yesterday two wildland firefighters with Florida Division of Forestry were killed on the Blue Ribbon Fire in Hamilton County, Florida. Two other firefighters were also injured on this wildfire. The fire had started June 16 and was initially contained; however recent extreme fire weather caused the fire to flare up again. Please keep these firefighters and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

· Texas Forest Service currently is responding to 22 large fires that have burned 132,750 acres.

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

· Detailed fire information can be found at inciweb.org.
New large fires from yesterday (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):

ROCKLAND, Tyler County. 500 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is burning 13 miles north of Woodville. The community of Rockland was evacuated.

WEISE, Haskell County. 5,000 acres, 75 percent contained. This fire is burning 9 miles east of Haskell.

WHITE HAT, Coke and Nolan Counties. 20,000 acres, 5 percent contained. Voluntary evacuations around the community of Maryneal. Heavy airtankers and single-engine airtankers dropped on this fire. This fire is burning 4 miles south of Maryneal.

WILSON RANCH, Tom Green County. 4,300 acres, 30 percent contained. This fire is located north of the community of Grape Creek. Structure protection in progress.

COBBLE RD. #1, Howard County. 1,200 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is burning 2 miles west of Big Spring. 1 home destroyed and 100 threatened.

MITCHELL RANCH 2, Crockett County. 3,000 acres, 5 percent contained. This fire is burning 31 miles southwest of Ozona.

BOYKEN RD, Howard County. 3,500 acres, unknown containment. Over 100 homes threatened. This fire is burning just south of Big Spring.


Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):

BEARING, Polk and Trinity Counties. 20,222 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire is burning near Carmona. Two homes and six cabins were destroyed and dozens have been evacuated.

POWER LINE, Jasper County. 3,500 acres, 75 percent contained. The fire is burning just south of Lake Sam Rayburn Dam. Five hundred homes are threatened.

SMAC, Brooks County. 35,000 acres, 50 percent contained. Extreme fire behavior was observed again yesterday on this fire 13 miles southwest of Falfurrias.

HUDSON COMPLEX, Sterling County. 3,160 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning 34 miles northwest of San Angelo.

FAULKNER, Crockett County. 2,200 acres, 95 percent contained. 900 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire is burning southwest of Big Lake.

4097, Newton County. 410 acres, unknown containment. Good progress was made on the fire yesterday.

MIDWAY (COWBOY CHURCH), Walker County. 3,000 acres, 25 percent contained. The fire is burning near Huntsville. One hundred sixty-three homes were evacuated near Midway. The fire is burning on both sides of Interstate 45 with crowning in the timber. Eight Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) engines responded last night from the Houston area to assist in addition to TFS resources.

DYER MILL, Grimes County. 4,000 acres, unknown containment. Twenty-six homes were reported destroyed on this fast-moving fire 3 miles east of Whitehall. Over 1,000 homes and businesses evacuated.

LONGFELLOW, Pecos County. 3,500, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning in heavy brush 40 miles southeast of Ft. Stockton. One residence was saved.

McDONALD II, Clay County. 5,915 acres, 50 percent contained. The fire was threatening the town of Henrietta. Evacuations of numerous homes and businesses took place last night.

ROCK CREEK, Stonewall County. 6,000 acres, 50 percent contained. The fire is burning seven miles northeast of Aspermont in tall grass.

RIDDLE, Stonewall County. 600 acres, 80 percent contained. The fire is burning seven miles southeast of Aspermont.

JRM, Throckmorton County. 7,000 acres, 75 percent contained. This fire is a complex of four lightning fires near Throckmorton. Twelve homes are threatened.

NANCE RANCH, Randall County. 350 acres, 90 percent contained. Two SEATs and a TFS task force worked the fire burning in grass six miles east of Canyon. Twelve homes were saved.

FINIS, Young County. 393 acres, 90 percent contained.
Weather Outlook

A weak cold front will be drifting across central and west Texas today. Overall winds will be less and relative humidities higher along with generally cooler temperatures. There strongest winds will be over the east half of the state and the northern panhandle. The lowest relative humidities will be over west Texas. The hottest temperatures of 100 plus will be near the Rio Grande valley with 80s and 90s elsewhere. Isolated to scattered thunderstorms can be expected over central to east Texas with east Texas getting the most thunderstorm activity.


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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