Wednesday wildfire update

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 6:20pm

Yesterday (Tuesday, April 26), Texas Forest Service responded to 13 new fires for 32,831 acres.

Texas Forest Service managed out of Merkel by the Texas Lone Star Incident Management Team has had 7 requests so far today for assistance from local fire departments.

NEW FIRES

Duval County, fire yet to be named – 200+ acres. Extreme fire behavior is reported. Fire is reported to be approximately 5 miles E of Realitos off Hwy 716. DPS helicopter reports eight homes are reported to be threatened and several outbuildings have been lost. A Task Force of dozers and engines and 2 TXARNG Blackhawks are responding to this fire. No other information is available at this time.

Atascosa County, Ditto Fire – 75 acres. Six homes reportedly are threatened. No losses known at this time. TFS overhead has arrived on scene and reports local VFD’s have made good progress on containing the fire.

Bastrop County, Oak River Drive Fire – 5 acres. Fire is 100 percent contained and is expected to be declared controlled later this evening. No structures are reported to be threatened. A TFS dozer responded to this fire. Fire cause is under investigation.

Coleman County, Texas Pacifico Complex – Size unknown at this time. This is a complex of 4 fires caused by a railroad train. Three TFS Task Forces of dozers and engines are responding to these fires.

CARRYOVER FIRES

Mitchell County, Champion Fire – 1,000 acres. 75 percent contained. This fire started April 26. Six homes and 3 infrastructures were threatened. Three homes were lost, reportedly unoccupied. TFS resources committed to this fire today include an Air Attack, a Lead Plane, 2 SEAT’s, a heavy Helitanker, and 2 Task Forces of dozers and engines.

Brown County, Zephyr Fire – 287 acres. 95 percent contained. This fire started April 26. One home was threatened and saved. TFS resources committed to this fire today include an Air Attack and a Task Force of dozers and engines.

Swisher and Castro Counties, Happy Fire – 3,000 acres. 75 percent contained. This fire, which started on April 26, is being staffed with local VFD’s today.

Potter/Oldham Counties, Boys Ranch Fire – 500 acres. 85 percent contained. This fire, which started on April 26, is being staffed with local VFD’s today.

Taylor/Cole Counties, TayCole Fire – 100 acres. 85 percent contained. Two structures were threatened and saved. This fire, which started on April 26, is being staffed with local VFD’s today. Fire was caused by lightning.

Val Verde County, Deaton Cole Fire – Estimated 20,000+ acres. 3 percent contained. This fire started late in afternoon April 25. Six homes and 12 outbuildings were threatened and saved. However, the fire is reported to be making a major run south paralleling Hwy 163 and 3-4 more ranches are potentially threatened. TFS resources committed to this fire today include an Air Attack, a Lead Plane, a heavy air tanker, 4 Task Forces of dozers and engines, a Strike Team of TXARNG dozers, 2 SEAT’s, a 20-person hand crew, a light helicopter, and a heavy Helitanker. DPS is assisting with communications from this remote area.

Lynn County, T Bar Ranch Fire – 1,500 acres. 90 percent contained. This fire started April 25. No TFS resources are committed to this fire today. Local fire departments are staffing this fire.

Mathis County, Cottle Fire – 300 acres. 90 percent contained. This fire started April 25. Two homes and 6 outbuildings were threatened and saved. No TFS resources are committed to this fire today. Fire is being staffed by local fire departments. Fire was caused by a downed power line.

Scurry County, Fuller Fire – 5,200 acres. 70 percent contained. This fire started April 25. No structures are reported threatened. TFS resources being used on this fire today include a Task Force of dozers and engines, a TIFMAS Strike Team of engines, and a 20 person hand crew.

Terry County, Spade Ranch Fire – 4,000 acres. 75 percent contained. This fire started April 25. No TFS resources are committed to this fire today. Local fire departments are staffing this fire.

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<mailto:easttexasfires@yahoo.com> .

New Fires (7 fires so far today)

Panola County, No. 146 – 1 acre. Fire is controlled. Cause was lightning.

Walker County, Ozarka Fire No. 338 – 40 acres. Containment unknown. One home and 11 outbuildings reportedly threatened and saved. No additional structures are threatened. Multiple TFS tractor plow unit, a dozer, and a 20 person hand crew are responding along with air support, including helicopters.

Montgomery County, No. 339 – 10 acres. Unknown containment. Two homes threatened and saved. Cause is unknown at this time.

San Jacinto County, No. 341 – 3 acres. No structures are reported threatened. Containment and cause are unknown at this time.

Jasper County, No. 340 – 50 acres. Multiple TFS tractor plow units and 2 dozers along with air support, including 3 helicopters, are responding. No structures are reported threatened. Containment and cause are unknown at this time.

San Augustine County, No. 344 – 1 acre. Fire is located near the Oak Grove community. TFS resources are on scene. Fire was caused by a downed power line.

Polk County, No. 343 – 10 acres. One barn is reported to be threatened. TFS resources are enroute to this fire. No other information is available at this time.

Carryover Fires

Montgomery County, No. 337 – 6 acres. 100 percent contained. No structures were threatened. Fire was caused by welding on the railroad.

Tyler and Hardin Counties, Pipeline Fire (No. 260) - 7,101 acres. This fire started on April 16. Two 20-person hand crews continue to mop up hot spots on this fire. National Park Service resources are also present on this fire. Fire is 100 percent contained. Fire was caused by an oil well flare.

Jasper County, Bad Gate Fire No. 304 - 425 acres. Fire is 100 percent contained. The 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 is controlled. Fire cause was lightning.

Panola County, No. 144 - 30 acres. Fire was controlled today. 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<mailto:transpecosfires@gmail.com>
Most Active Fires:
Jeff Davis County – Rock House Fire near Fort Davis Current acreage: 275,378 acres 66% contained High winds yesterday pushed the fire east out of the steep Davis Mountain canyons, allowing firefighters, dozers and aerial resources to fight the fire today on gentler terrain provided there are favorable weather conditions. Firefighters will continue to monitor the fire’s spread, as well as focus on structure protection and line improvement, burning out as needed. A few residents west of Highway 17 and south of Balmorhea State Park were evacuated as a precaution last night. The community of Balmorhea appears to be in good shape as it is surrounded by alfalfa fields irrigated by a nearby spring.
Ector and Crane Counties – Pleasant Farms Fire south of Odessa Current acreage: 28,000 acres 0% contained This wind-driven fire started yesterday afternoon. The C-Bar Fire, in Crane County, combined with the Pleasant Farms Fire last night. It has been reported that one abandoned structure was lost. Firefighters will continue to establish control lines and protect structures.
Irion County – Scott Ranch Fire southwest of San Angelo Current acreage: 10,000 acres 40% contained This fire started yesterday afternoon and is burning 12 miles NNE of Barnhart. Firefighters will concentrate on constructing control lines and structure protection.
Kimble County – Oasis Fire south of Junction Current acreage: 6,000 acres 5% contained This fire is burning 4 miles NW of Telegraph. Highway 377 is closed from Park Road 73 south to County Road 130. Evacuations are in effect for the area between County Roads 130 and 140 west of Highway 377. Seven structures and three vehicles have burned. Four firefighters received minor injuries. Firefighters will continue to construct firelines and protect structures.
Coke County – Wildcat Fire north of San Angelo Current acreage: 159,308 acres 80% contained Today crews will continue to focus on patrol and mop-up operations.
Higher resolution maps are available at: ftp://ftp.nifc.gov/Incident_Specific_Data/SOUTHERN/Texas/Trans_Pecos_Com... or ftp://ftp.nifc.gov/Incident_Specific_Data/SOUTHERN/Texas/Trans_Pecos_Com....
Today:

• A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the Fort Davis, Midland/Fort Stockton and San Angelo vicinities.

• For the Fort Davis area, NW/N winds will be decreasing above 6,000 feet to 20-25 mph with temperatures dropping into the 60s and relative humidity between 6-9%. For the San Angelo area, NW winds will decrease to 15 mph, temperatures will be in the 80s, and the relative humidity will be near 18%. For the Midland/Fort Stockton area, NW winds will drop from morning highs of 15-25 mph, temperatures will be near 80, and relative humidity will fall to 10%.

* 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. The acreage of the complex remains at 126,734 with an estimated 90 percent containment. Today crews will work on completing hand lines and dozer lines around the fire perimeter. As the perimeter around the fire approaches full containment, fire engines, firefighters, and other equipment will begin moving to other fires in the state. However a number of these resources, including fire engines, dozers, and aircraft, will remain on the PK Complex in case they are needed. Fire officials remain concerned about the weather forecast today. Temperatures are expected to be between 71-76 degrees. Winds are expected to be gusty N to NW. Relative humidity is forecasted to be in the mid to upper 20% range.
TOMORROW’S FIRE WEATHER FORECAST
North-Northwest-West-Central-South Branches:
High pressure will be centered over the central to eastern portions of the state on Thursday in the wake of Wednesday’s cold frontal passage. A weak dryline will begin to develop across the far western portions of the Texas panhandle south through the Lower Trans Pecos during the afternoon. Elevated fire weather conditions are expected west of the dryline with winds out of the west-southwest at 5-10 mph gusting to 15 mph and minimum RH values less than 10%. East of the dryline winds will be out of the south and southeast at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. RH values between 10-20% are expected across the western half of Northwest Branch southward through the eastern half of West Branch and areas of South Branch along and west of Interstate 35. RH values for the rest of the Branches will be between 20-30% except for the northeastern 1/3 of North Branch, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and areas along the immediate coast. High temperatures on Thursday will be in the upper 70s across the northern Panhandle with the bulk of the state seeing highs in the 80s. Areas of the Rio Grande Valley in South Branch will see highs in the 90s.
East Branch:
High pressure will remain across East Branch for most of the day on Thursday leading to relatively light winds across the Branch. The northern half of East Branch will see winds of 5-10 mph with variable direction and the southern half of East Branch will have winds out of the east-southeast at 10-15 mph. RH values on will be between 30-40% except for the southwestern 1/3 where RH values will drop to below 30% Thursday afternoon.

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.edumailto: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 800 452-9292http://www.dot.state.tx.us/travel/road_conditions.htm%20or%20call%20800%20452-9292.

From Texas Forrest Service
 

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