Multiple South Texas agencies respond to brush fires affecting thousands of acres

26 August 2019

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USA- CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There has been no rest for area firefighters who were called to battle several large brush fires that sparked up over the weekend.

One happened about nine miles north of Refugio on the west side of Highway 77. The grass fire, which has been dubbed “the Greta Fire,” has reportedly burned more than 800 acres and, as of Monday evening, was about 60-percent contained.

There was also a 1,000-acre fire in neighboring Goliad County, and another 320-acre fire in Brooks County near Falfurrias, Texas.

The quantity of fires has had area fire departments banding together to help each other out.

Officials said the blaze that sparked up in Refugio County is no longer actively burning, but crews are still working on containment lines to make sure it doesn’t spark up again. Officials said preliminary reports indicate the fire was sparked by a lightning strike.

The battle first began Sunday and involved a long list of fire crews from surrounding agencies and beyond, including crews from as far away as Georgia and Tennessee.

A spokesperson from the Texas A&M Forest Service said it is important to remember that much of the area is under a burn ban.

“Any outdoor activities can cause a spark. Of course don’t do any outdoor burning,” said Heather Gonzalez, wildland urban interface specialist for the Texas A&M Forest Service. “You are under a burn ban right now.”

Firefighters even battled the blaze near Falfurrias by air — just one more example of the resources made available to help fight the fires. It’s thanks in part to what’s called “mutual aid,” a way area firefighters can help each other out.

Among those who helped were crews from Nueces County ESD #2.

“All of the departments report to the Texas Forest Service, and every time we respond they map that. They move resources into the area. They have a lot of resources they can bring,” Nueces County ESD #2 Chief Dale Scott said. “A huge help to small departments.”

Scott said they are always happy to assist with manpower or equipment.

Amazingly, no homes were burned in the fires and there were no injuries reported.

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