Southeast Texas had some much-needed and long-prayed-for rain yesterday, but we’ll need a lot more to put a stop to the wildfires. Here is the latest from the Texas Forest Service. As you can see, the list of fires still burning is long, and we even had a new fire yesterday.
Wildfire update – June 23, 2011
· Texas Forest Service responded to one new large fire yesterday in Taylor County.
· Texas Forest Service currently is responding to 16 major fires that have burned 163,649 acres.
· The Boyken Road (Howard County, 2,000 acres), Wilson Ranch (Tom Green County, 4,300 acres) and the Longfellow (Pecos County, 3,500 acres) fires have all been contained.
· 228 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.
· Detailed fire information can be found at inciweb.org.
· Questions about evacuations, burn bans and firework bans should be directed to the county judge, sheriff’s office or emergency management coordinator.
New large fires from yesterday (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
TRENT MESA, Taylor County. 500 acres, 50 percent contained. This fire is burning 8 miles southwest of Merkel. Numerous wind turbines are threatened.
Uncontained fires from previous days (more than 100 acres in timber, 300 acres in lighter fuels):
WHITE HAT, Coke and Nolan Counties. 70,559 acres, 65 percent contained. There are voluntary evacuations around the community of Maryneal. Eight homes, eight outbuildings and three vehicles were destroyed. A power substation received heavy damage. Heavy airtankers and single-engine airtankers dropped on this fire. This fire is burning 4 miles south of Maryneal.
BEARING, Polk and Trinity Counties. 20,222 acres, 80 percent contained. The fire is burning near Carmona. Two homes and six cabins were destroyed and dozens have been evacuated.
DYER MILL, Grimes County. 5,280 acres, 75 percent contained. Thirty homes are confirmed destroyed, along with three businesses. More than 1,000 homes and businesses were evacuated.
MIDWAY (COWBOY CHURCH), Walker County. 2,412 acres, 90 percent contained. The fire is burning near Huntsville. One hundred sixty-three homes were evacuated near Midway. The fire was burning on both sides of Interstate 45 with crowning in the timber. Eight Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System engines responded from the Houston area to assist in addition to TFS resources.
POWER LINE, Jasper County. 3,500 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning just south of Lake Sam Rayburn Dam. Five hundred homes were threatened.
SMAC, Brooks County. 30,000 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is burning 13 miles southwest of Falfurrias.
HUDSON COMPLEX, Sterling County. 2,860 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning 34 miles northwest of San Angelo.
FAULKNER, Crockett County. 2,201 acres, 95 percent contained. The fire is burning southwest of Big Lake.
COBBLE RD. #1, Howard County. 1,200 acres, 90 percent contained. This fire is burning 2 miles west of Big Spring.
MITCHELL RANCH 2, Crockett County. 3,000 acres, 50 percent contained. This fire is burning 31 miles southwest of Ozona.
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.
ROCK CREEK, Stonewall County. 8,000 acres, 80 percent contained. The fire is burning seven miles northeast of Aspermont in tall grass.
JRM, Throckmorton County. 7,000 acres, 95 percent contained. This fire is a complex of four lightning fires near Throckmorton. Twelve homes are threatened.
NANCE RANCH, Randall County. 607 acres, 90 percent contained. Two single-engine airtankers 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.
Dry line will remain across far West Texas through Thursday evening as surface ridge builds to the east. This will contribute to an increased pressure gradient across the Panhandle southward to the Lower Trans Pecos with generally south winds increasing to 10 to 15 mph and gusty. Otherwise, high temperatures to increase to near 100 degrees west Texas as upper level high pressure strengthens from the west, producing elevated fire conditions across the west and northwest branches. Highs will be in the 90s over east Texas.