Tuesday wildfire update

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 5:05pm

Yesterday (Monday, April 25), Texas Forest Service responded to 23 new fires for
12,726 acres. We continue to work on 10 large fires totaling over 530,000 acres.

Texas Forest Service managed out of Merkel by the Texas Lone Star Incident
Management Team has had 3 requests so far today for assistance from local fire
departments.

NEW FIRES

Potter/Oldham Counties, Boys Ranch Fire – 500 acres. No structures immediately
threatened but the potential is there. Currently there are no evacuations. TFS
resources responding include an Air Attack, a Task Force of dozers and engines,
and four SEAT’s.

Taylor/Cole Counties, TayCole Fire – 200 acres. One structure is reportedly
threatened. TFS resources responding have not been identified at this time.

Val Verde County, Deaton Cole Fire – Estimated 5000 acres. 50 percent
contained. One ranch threatened. TFS resources include an Air Attack, a Lead
Plane, 2 heavy air tankers, 3 MAFFS C-130’s, 2 Task Forces of dozers and
engines, and a heavy Helitanker. DPS is assisting with communications from this
remote area.

CARRYOVER FIRES

Lynn County, T Bar Ranch Fire – 1,500 acres. 90 percent contained. TFS air
resources assisting local fire departments on this fire include 4 SEAT’s, 1 Lead
Plane, and 1 Air Attack.

Mathis County, Cottle Fire – 300 acres. One structure is reportedly threatened.
TFS Air Attack and a Task Force of dozers and engines are committed to this
fire.

Kendall County, I-10 Fire – 15 acres. 95 percent contained. This fire is
expected to be declared controlled later this evening.

Scurry County, Fuller Fire – 3,500 acres. 70 percent contained. This fire has
been very active today due to weather influences. No structures are reported
threatened. TFS resources being used on this fire today include 3 Task Forces
of dozers and engines, a TIFMAS Strike Team of engines, 4 heavy air tankers
including 2 MAFFS C-130’s, an Air Attack, a Lead Plane, a light helicopter, and
a heavy Helitanker.

EAST TEXAS SPRING FIRE

The Florida Interagency Incident Management Red Team (IC Graham) is managing
wildfires in 42 counties in East Texas. The Red Team is in Unified Command with
the Texas Forest Service. The three geographic regions in East Texas are
designated North, Central, and South. For East Texas fire information, contact
Bill Scaramellino, PIO @ 936-639-8165 or
easttexasfires@yahoo.com<easttexasfires@yahoo.com> .

The East Branch received varying rainfall amounts over most of the entire branch
yesterday improving fuel moisture and reducing the number of new fires
significantly.

New Fires (3)

Cherokee County, Fire No. 145 – 9 acres. Controlled. No structures were
threatened. This fire was caused by lightning.

Jasper County, Fire No. 336 – 1 acre. Controlled. No structures were
threatened. This fire was caused by lightning.

Montgomery County, unnamed – 10acres. TFS resources are responding to this
fire. No other information at this time.

Carryover Fires

Tyler and Hardin Counties, Pipeline Fire (No. 260) - 7,101 acres. This fire
started on April 16. Two 20-person hand crews continue building line through a
swampy area on this fire and continue to attack spot fires. National Park
Service resources are also fighting this fire. Fire is estimated to be 90
percent contained. Fire was caused by an oil well flare.

Jasper County, Bad Gate Fire No. 304 - 400 acres. Fire was 100 percent contained
April 22. Fire continues to be monitored for activity from the air. Cause is
under investigation.

Montgomery County, No. 326 – 6 acres. Fire was 100 percent contained Monday,
April 25. Twelve homes were threatened and saved. Fire was caused by a downed
power line.

Harrison County, No. 152 – 3 acres. No structures were threatened. Fire was
100 percent contained Monday, April 25. Fire cause was lightning.

Panola County, No. 144 - 30 acres. Fire was 100 percent contained Monday, April
25. Three homes were threatened and saved. Fire was caused by a downed power
line.

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 or
transpecosfires@gmail.com<transpecosfires@gmail.com>
Most Active Fires:
Jeff Davis County – Rock House Fire near Ft. Davis
Current acreage: 224,956 acres 75% contained
Due to concerns for public and firefighter safety, as well as a lack of reliable
communications, firefighters have backed out of the Davis Mountains’ steep
canyons to gentler terrain. Dozers cannot be used on the steep terrain; and,
aerial resources have been ineffective.
Today firefighters will focus on the northern end of the fire with structure
protection and line improvement, burning out as needed. Aerial resources will
continue to support the fire depending on weather conditions. A Red Flag Warning
is in effect today with temperatures in the 80s. Wind gusts are expected to be
up to 60 mph above 6,000 feet.
Coke County – Wildcat Fire north of San Angelo
Current acreage: 159,308 acres 80% contained
Rainfall was received over the entire fire area on Sunday evening, April 24.
Today crews will continue to focus on patrol and mop-up operations. Temperatures
will be in the low 90s. Relative humidity is expected to fall to as low as 7%.
Crockett County – Childress Fire
Current Acreage: 74 acres 75% contained
This fire was originally reported to be 600 acres. After GPSing the fire, it was
found to be only 74 acres. Crews are currently monitoring the fire. This is the
last day this fire will appear on this report.
Higher resolution maps are available at: ftp://ftp.nifc.gov/Incident_Specific_Da
ta/SOUTHERN/Texas/Trans_Pecos_Complex/Information/
or ftp://ftp.nifc.gov/Incident_Specific_Data/SOUTHERN/Texas/Trans_Pecos_Com...
GIS/Products/20110419/
Today:

 A Red Flag Warning is in effect through Wednesday morning for the Fort Davis,
Midland/Fort Stockton and San Angelo vicinities. A High-Wind Warning is in
effect for the Fort Davis area with gusts of up to 60 mph expected above 6,000
feet. Gusts of up to 45 mph are expected for the San Angelo area; and
Midland/Fort Stockton can expect gusts of up to 50 mph.

* Weather conditions are on an escalating trend with increasing winds, lower
humidity, and above normal temperatures each afternoon.Critically dry fuels
increase the potential for new fires and existing fires to spread quickly.
* Fire behavior models over the next several days indicate rates of spread in
excess of 3 mph with flame lengths in grass/brush as much as 8 feet.
* Fire crews are continually working to construct and hold lines as well as
begin mop-up operations.
* Aerial resources will continue to monitor and perform water and retardant
drops when conditions are favorable.

PK COMPLEX
PK Complex Fire Update: The Southern Area Red Team continues to assist with
managing the PK Complex. For information about the PK Complex, please check
www.inciweb.org<http://www.inciweb.org/>, or call 940-325-4088 or 940-325-3981.
Information lines are staffed from 8 AM to 9 PM.
Firefighters were able to make considerable progress on building line and
mopping up hot spots and smoldering in the interior of the fire. An infrared
(IR) flight of the fire yesterday showed several areas with hot spots. The
acreage of the complex is currently at 126,734 with an estimated 80 percent
containment. Today crews will continue constructing hand lines and dozer lines
throughout the fire, well ahead of the current fire perimeter, as well as
keeping in place fire engines, firefighters, and other equipment to protect
homes and other property in the PK Complex area. Crews will be patrolling fire
perimeters and mopping up hot spots as they are found, using the IR date from
yesterday’s flight. Fire officials remain concerned about the weather forecast
today. Higher winds, hotter temperatures and lower humidity pose a threat of
increased fire behavior. There is also a concern that additional fire starts
will be detected due to the numerous lightning strikes that have occurred over
the past few days.
TOMORROW’S FIRE WEATHER FORECAST
North-Northwest-West-Central-South Branches:
A strong cold front will move through the state today with winds shifting across
all branches to the north. Immediately after the passage of the cold
front…winds will become north 20-30 mph with gusts to 40 mph. The front will
move through the Northwest, North, and northern portions of the West Branches
during the morning hours. It will move through the remainder of the branches
during the afternoon. Critical fire weather conditions are expected across
southern portions of the Northwest Branch, southern portions of the North
Branch, and all of the West, South, Central, and South-Central Branches. RH
values will drop to less than 10% across much of the West and South Branches
behind the cold front. Coastal areas will see RH values around 20% during the
afternoon. Winds are expected to diminish during the late afternoon and evening
hours as high pressure builds into the state. High temperatures today will be
in the 60s across the Panhandle with 70s and 80s across much of the rest of the
state. Across the South Branch, highs will be in the 90s and low 100s.
East Branch:
A strong cold front will move through the East Branch today with cooler
temperatures, drier conditions, and breezy north winds. RH values are expected
to drop to around 20% across southern portions of the Branch and will remain
around 30% across the central and northern portions of the branch.
West-northwest winds 20-30 mph with higher gusts can be expected behind the cold
front…although winds will diminish and become northerly during the late
afternoon and evening hours. Critical fire weather conditions are expected
across the southwest portions of the branch where RH values will be lowest.
Special Note
The generosity of Texans wanting to show support for our firefighters by
donating supplies has been humbling and overwhelming. The sincere thoughtfulness
is greatly appreciated. However, our ability to store, distribute, and use the
many donations we are receiving is exceeding our capabilities.

Those who want to help are encouraged to donate directly to their local
volunteer fire department. Texas Forest Service has established the VFD
Emergency Assistance Fund to help volunteer fire departments. You can also make
a tax-deductible donation earmarked for a particular department, county or
region. All proceeds (100 percent) will be distributed to volunteer fire
departments via grants for firefighting expenses. If you would like to donate to
this fund or if you have questions about how you can help, email
HelpingTexas@tfs.tamu.edu<HelpingTexas@tfs.tamu.edu>.

For more information please visit the following websites:

For number of acres burned to date, number of fires to date, and number of
structures lost and saved: http://ticc.tamu.edu/Documents/Home/tx_sitrep.pdf

For numbers and locations of aircraft, dozers, engines, etc.:
http://tfsfrp.tamu.edu/wildfires/resources.pdf

To see locations of current active fires in Texas in a Google Earth format:
http://ticc.tamu.edu/Home/GECop.htm

To view counties with current Burn Bans:
http://tfsfrp.tamu.edu/wildfires/DecBan.pdf

For information on road closures please go to
http://www.dot.state.tx.us/travel/road_conditions.htm or call 800 452-9292<http:
//www.dot.state.tx.us/travel/road_conditions.htm%20or%20call%20800%20452-9292>.

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