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Statewide Wildfire Update: Texas Forest Service

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Clark and Michelle McNabb
    The Possum Kingdom Lake fire, friends lost everything.

    Current wildfire status - April 22, 2011 -- 6:15 p.m.

    Yesterday, Texas Forest Service responded to 4 new fires for 2,184 acres. Since April 6th, Texas Forest Service has responded to fires that have burned more than one million acres.

    Texas Forest Service has responded to 7 new fires today.

    The Florida Type II IMT (Florida Red Team) assumed management in support of East Texas today. A tanker base has been set up in Midland to support a DC-10 airtanker. Dyess Air Force Base has set up a tanker base to support the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) units on four USAF C-130s.

    NEW FIRES:

    Panola County, No. 137 -- 1 acre. Controlled. Fire cause was equipment (compressor).

    Nacogdoches County, No. 138 -- 5 acres. 100 percent contained. 4 structure threatened and saved.

    Rusk County, No. 139 -- 2 acres. Controlled

    Angelina County, No. 301 -- 7 acres. Controlled. Fire cause was reburn of previously burned area.

    Angelina County, No. 302 -- 1 acre. Controlled. Fire cause is under investigation.

    Walker County, No. 303 -- No other information at this time.

    Jasper County, No. 304 -- Fire estimated to be 50-60 acres. No structures threatened at this time. 2 TFS dozers and a helicopter are working on this fire.

    CARRYOVER FIRES:

    Stephens County, Mossy Rock Ranch Fire -- 800 acres, 100 percent contained.

    Jack County, Bryson Fire Complex, two fires -- 7,500 acres. Initially, 14 businesses and 140 home and outbuildings were threatened and 70 people were evacuated. 100 percent contained.

    Stonewall, Knox and King Counties, Swenson Fire -- 122,500 acres, 100 percent contained.

    Archer County, Dads Corner Fire -- 6100 acres. Fire 100 percent cond controlled today.

    Kent, Stonewall, Fisher and Scurry Counties -- Cooper Mtn Ranch Fire. - 162,625 acres, 90 mile perimeter. 100% contained.

    Freestone County, No. 108 -- 78 acres. Will continue to monitor fire area for re-burn.

    Tyler and Hardin Counties, Pipeline Fire (No. 260) -- 7,091 acres, fire had two heads at one time. Operations are progressing normally with crews working NW corner. Estimated 90 percent containment.

    Panola County, No. 137 -- 1 acre. Controlled.

    Tyler County, CR4600 No. 285 -- 130 acres. Controlled. Cause is under investigation.

    Hardin County, No. 295 -- 10 acres. Controlled. Fire cause was debris burning.

    Newton County, Toledo Bend Fire No. 299 -- 130 acres. Controlled. Fire cause was a campfire.

    Tyler County, No. 300 -- 1 acre. Controlled. Fire was caused by a cigarette.

    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.

    Most Active Fires:

    Jeff Davis County -- Rock House Fire near Ft. Davis Current acreage: 202,756 acres 75% contained Safety of the public and firefighters is our number one concern as this fire travels down into Aguja Canyon. As the fire continues to back down into the canyon, it may cross the drainage if there are available fuels. Firefighters’ desired strategy is to hold the fire close to its current location. In the event they are unable to do this, they have developed an alternative strategy in which they would tie into a road system and burnout the unburned fuels between the road and the fire. Structure protection assessments are ongoing.

    Coke County -- Wildcat Fire north of San Angelo Current acreage: 159,308 acres 75% contained Activity on the fire was light yesterday due to the cooler weather and relative humidity recovery. Today crews will continue to focus on patrol and mop up operations, as well as assist local resources as needed. Isolated thunderstorms will again be possible in the afternoon and some may be strong.

    Crockett County -- Sutton Fire near Ozona Current acreage: 25,000 acres 95% contained The Frying Pan Ranch, McPherson, Encino and Cannon Group (Cannon, DHR, Little Smokey, and Yates Field) fires are all at 100% containment. This is the last day they will appear on the Trans Pecos Complex Update.

    Today:

    • Fire crews are continually working to construct and hold lines as well as begin mop up operations.
    • Isolated thunderstorms are possible for both the Midland/Fort Stockton and San Angelo vicinities. Aerial flights will monitor the area after the storm to check for ignition of fuels by lightning strikes.
    • Even though the weather conditions have improved through much of west Texas, fuel moistures have not changed. Critically dry fuels increase the potential for new fires and existing fires to spread quickly.
    • Today forecasters are predicting a high likelihood for existing fires to become large based on measurements of atmospheric instability and dryness.
    • Aerial resources will continue to monitor and perform water and retardant drops as needed.
    • Although no Red Flag Warnings are in effect, conditions in the Midland/Fort Stockton and Fort Davis vicinities can be considered to be elevated.

    PK COMPLEX

    PK Complex Fire Update: The Southern Area Red Team continues to assist with managing the PK Complex.

    Yesterday, light fire activity was observed due to the rise in relative humidity, continuous cloud cover and early morning precipitation. This allowed crews to continue building line and mopping up small hot spots.

    The acreage remains at 147,973 with 25 percent containment.

    Today crews will continue constructing dozer lines throughout the fire, well ahead of the current fire perimeter, as well as keeping in place fire engines, firefighters, and other equipment to protect homes and other property in the PK Complex area. Crews will be mopping up hot spots as they are found along roads and will also be burning small pockets of vegetation within the perimeter to prevent future fires.

    Teams will also be with continuing with damage assessment throughout the area. From 10 am to 6 pm today, the Palo Pinto County Sheriff and Judge and the Texas DPS facilitated a temporary opportunity for residents of Hog Bend, Sportsmans World, Gaines Bend and the Hills above PK Lake to assess their property and retrieve certain items.

    The following road closures remain in place: 16N closed from the intersection with 180 at Brad to the intersection with 337. FM 4 is closed from the intersection with 180 to the intersection with 254. Road 254 is closed from the intersection of FM 4 to the intersection with 16N.

    The evacuation for the following areas around Possum Kingdom Lake remains in place: the Peninsula; the area along 2353; the Cliffs resort; Gaines Bend; Sportsmans World; and Hog Bend.

    Prevention messages:

    • Obey outdoor burning bans. Don't burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Texas.
    • Keep lawn mowers and agricultural equipment in proper working condition and avoid rocks and other materials which might cause a spark.
    • To report suspicious activities, call the Arson Hotline at (888) 501-3850. If possible, safely obtain an accurate description of the person and/or vehicle (including the license number) before calling the hotline.
    • Humans cause more than 90 percent of all wildfires. Do not weld or cut without a spotter, a water source and a shovel.