Saturday, March 25

Texas wildfire updates: Latest on evacuations, containment, acres burned

Wildfires in Eastland County are continuing to burn Sunday, while a new fire along the Hood and Erath county line has prompted evacuations.

EASTLAND, Texas — Dry and windy conditions have been fueling wildfires in different areas west of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Wildfires in Eastland County had burned about 54,000 acres by Sunday night, and only one of them had been 100% contained.

Crews are continuing to battle sprawling fires in Eastland County that began Thursday afternoon.

A wildfire along the Hood and Erath county line has prompted evacuations.

Wildfire map

The Texas A&M Forest Service has a map where the public can view the current locations of wildfires.

Hood County wildfire and evacuations

The Texas A&M Forest Service is calling the latest wildfire along the Hood and Erath county line the Big L fire.

As of 6:30 p.m., the Big L fire had burned around 6,000 acres and was 5% contained.

Officials with the forest service said the fire started in Erath County but then moved into Hood County and is going north.

The Hood County Emergency Management department says the city of Lipan, about 18 miles west of Granbury, is being evacuated. Residents are urged to head east toward Granbury.

Hood County Fire Marshal Jeff Young said the fire moved at about the speed of the wind at 20 mph, making stopping it more difficult. 

“The grass and the fire is burning so fast we’re having a hard time catching it,” he said. “We can’t get any guys right up in front of it because they’re going to get overrun with it.”

Also Read  Biden to nominate new ATF director, release ghost gun rule

Young said the fire expanded from 200 acres to 3,400 in just two hours. It’s still unclear how it started. By 4 p.m., it had destroyed six buildings. 

“In these conditions and the way this fire moves, we’ve also got to make sure we don’t get injured or killed in the line of duty,” Young said. “It’s a monumental task.”

The city of Tolar was initially under evacuation, but that order was removed, according to Hood County officials.

The NWS issued an evacuation order for residents located northeast of Bluff Dale along County Road 148. Evacuees are urged to report to Bluff Dale High School when it’s safe.

At a gas station off 377, several residents gathered, waited and watched as the plume of smoke from the fire moved north. 

Elizabeth Tubbs learned from a neighbor her home had been destroyed. 

“I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” she said. “The only thing I have is in my truck, clothes wise, but I’ll be ok.”

Watching the smoke, she said she worried most about her cattle and cats. 

“I’m just looking over there because I bet that’s my place,” she said. “Sad I can’t get over there even though I probably couldn’t do anything.” 

“You don’t ever think this will happen to you, but when it comes knocking on your back doorstep, it gets real, real quick,” Tyler Davis said. 

Flames came within 100 yards of his doorstep Sunday, but his home was spared.

Also Read  Ex-OU star Buddy Hield makes the NBA with trade from Kings to Pacers

“It’s going to be life altering for a lot of folks,” he said. “People out here have a lot of land, a lot of cattle, and that costs a lot of money and when that goes up in smoke, it changes lives.”

Another evacuation order was issued for residents near County Road 114 and County 117 north of Huckabay, about 10 miles north of Stephenville, in Erath County. This is due to a separate fire.

Latest in Eastland County

As of 8:30 p.m. Sunday, there were seven fires burning in Eastland County that combined into the Eastland Complex: Kidd Fire (42,300 acres), Blowing Basin Fire (258 acres), Cedar Mountain Fire (180 acres), Mangum Fire (11 acres), Wheatfield Fire (7,200 acres), Oak Mott Fire (4,000 acres) and Walling Fire (383 acres).

While these fires were in different locations around Eastland County, the Texas A&M Forest Service was referring to the overall incident as the Eastland Complex.

A total of around 54,000 acres had burned by 8:30 p.m. Sunday, with the fire 30% contained.

The Texas A&M Forest Service says at least 50 homes have burned.

Evacuation order

The National Weather Service issued an immediate evacuation order for any residents in Eastland County near FM 2731 and CR 230 between Highway 183 and Texas Highway 206.

According to the NWS, a “fast moving wildfire” is located in the area. Residents are urged to evacuate north using Highway 206.

Also Read  Markets Are on a War Footing. Here’s a Worst-Case Scenario.

Ways to help

There are numerous ways people can help those who are affected by the wildfires in Eastland County and other surrounding areas.

Relief funds and donation drop-off locations have been set up. More information on how to help and receive help can be found here.

Disaster declaration

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration on Friday for 11 counties in response to the wildfires.

Those counties are: Brooks, Brown, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Grayson, Mason, Potter, Randall, Reynolds and Williamson.

The disaster declaration allows the use of all available state resources to aid in fighting the fires.

Texas Department of Emergency Management assessment

The Texas Department of Emergency Management is asking residents to help the state department assess the damage caused by the wildfires. This can help the state determine the best ways to assist affected residents.

The survey can be found here.

Disaster assistance

Eastland ISD says disaster assistance from the Texas Department of Emergency Management can be found at Siebert Elementary at 100 Little Maverick Trail, Eastland, TX 76448.

Residents can also report damage at the location. They will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the district.

Volunteers with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief (SBTC Disaster Relief) were sent Saturday to Eastland County to respond to the wildfires. A team began serving breakfast to survivors and first responders in Carbon. The crew is expected to serve about 100 hot meals twice a day as needed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *