Wildfire Forces Evacuations

CNN
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 6:18am

A wildfire along the eastern shore of Possum Kingdom Lake that prompted that prompted evacuations Monday night was 70 percent contained as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.
"The worst enemy we have is the obviously the winds," said Keiffer Harwell, Palo Pinto County emergency management spokesman.

The fire started around 4:30 p.m. Monday along Frontier Unit Road in the area known as the Peninsula, according to Palo Pinto County Emergency Management public information official Mark Engebretson.

About a dozen homes were evacuated at Golden Cove as 70 volunteer firefighters from seven area departments worked in shifts to contain the blaze.
By Tuesday morning, 130 acres of land had been scorched and crews were concerned more could burn.

Several structures have been threatened, but so far no homes have been lost.
Palo Pinto County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell said he hoped the 13 homeowners who evacuated would be able to return on Tuesday night, but there's no guarantee. Harwell said if winds push the fire over the lines, more streets will be evacuated.

Bulldozers cut breaks in the fire overnight in an attempt to keep the blaze from spreading. Cooler temperatures overnight helped firefighters contain about 15 percent of the fire and save 30 structures, including homes.

Photos posted to the Pondera Properties at Possum Kingdom Lake Facebook page showed heavy smoke and large flames towering over the lakeside homes.
Several hundred homes have been lost in wildfires at Possum Kingdom Lake over the last few years.

"It's not as bad as last year," Engebretson told News 8. "It's not near what we had in 2011."

Flames still crackled in the trees in isolated spots late Tuesday afternoon, but Nick Harrison of the Texas Forest Service said crews were being helped by higher humidity levels.

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