Grass fires continue to burn
By LPR Staff
Grass fires on FM 2001 that were sparked on Monday continued to smolder on Wednesday morning, according to Caldwell County Fire Marshall Jeff Wright.
“Brush is still smoldering out in the black (already-burned area),” he said Wednesday morning. “People are driving by and seeing it smoking and calling it in, which is a go
Wright said that more than half a dozen reports have been made since the initial fire call on Monday morning.
During the initial battle with the blaze, firefighters from Caldwell, Travis and Hays Counties responded to the rash of fires, which spanned all three counties.
At least nine fires, many of them small, were reported along FM 2001 beginning at about 10:30 a.m. on Monday. Most were small and easily contained to the shoulder of the highway.
The bulk of the damage reported was between Rocky Road and Highway 21, where two or three large fires merged into one, fueled by high winds and heavy brush.
“The wind was blowing between 10 and 20 miles per hour, and there was almost no humidity,” Wright said.
At the scene, Wright speculated the fire was caused by either a vehicle with a flat tire or a trailer dragging a chain and throwing sparks from the asphalt of FM 2001 into the grass along the road.
Later that day, two separate witnesses reported seeing vehicles with flat tires either parked or driving along FM 2001.
“There”s really no telling, though,” Wright said. “It could have been someone throwing sparks, it could have been electrical wires rubbing together wrong. As dry and windy as it is, there”s really no way to tell how these things get started.”
Although large fires have broken out across Caldwell County for the last several weeks, Wright noted that things could be worse.
In the Texas Panhandle, wildfires have raged for several days and burned more than 800,000 acres and thousands of head of horses and cattle.
“That kind of thing can happen here just as easy,” he said. “Until we get some good rain, we”re just going to be in danger. “
The Caldwell County Commissioners voted on Monday morning to leave the county under an outdoor burning ban, and indicated it is unlikely the ban will be lifted again until the entire county has received significant amounts of rainfall.
Despite forecasts suggesting rain throughout the weekend and next week, Wright reminds Caldwell County residents that the burn ban does not allow for any burning, even if it is raining, and anyone in violation of the burn ban will be ticketed and fined up to $500 for each violation.