Brush fires rage through Central Texas

Brush fires rage through Central Texas

22  December 2007

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High winds and low humidity meant a tough Saturday for firefighters as brush fires tore through parts of Central Texas.

About 100 firefighters and neighbors battled a blaze near Dripping Springs starting around 11:30 a.m. when winds blew two power lines together, causing molten metal to fall and ignite the grass below, said Hays County Sheriff’s spokesman Mike Thielen.

STAR Flight helicopters dumped water from above while residents in the area of Fawn Meadows Drive pitched in to douse flames with buckets of water. Thielen said the 30 mph winds made it easy for the flames to spread quickly, eventually burning more than 100 acres.

“The high winds are terrible,” Thielen said. “One young man out here said he saw the fire move 100 feet in a short time.”

Fire crews and neighbors were able to extinguish the flames before they reached area homes, Thielen said. No structures were damaged and no one was injured.

Firefighters in Bastrop County were faced with the same problems. Bastrop Fire Dept. Chief Henry Perry said crews fought a five-acre fire in the area of Yellow Moon Drive for almost three hours. The flames burned down a mobile home, but firefighters were able to save a small wooden home. Both structures were uninhabited, Perry said. No one was injured.

“The cold front came in and dropped the humidity into the teens and drove the winds up,” Perry said. “Even when the temperatures are cool, that doesn’t mean there is no fire danger.”

National Weather Service forecaster Dennis Cook said fire-prone conditions won’t be as bad Sunday as the winds will die down to only about five mph.


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