A lightning strike of a tree Sunday caused a grass fire Monday that scorched approximately 520 acres in Unit 21 of the LBJ National Grasslands. After the strike, the fire smoldered until temperatures rose Monday, and the fire was reported around noon, near County Road 2690 northeast of Alvord.
By 8 p.m., firefighters had built control lines around the perimeter, and by Tuesday afternoon there was no fire outside those breaks. But 20 mph winds and low humidity threatened the about 50 percent containment of the fire.
However, U.S. Forest Service crews patrolled the fire and extinguished hot spots throughout the day.
The fire started in a rugged area of the grasslands. Because of its inaccessible location, firefighters were forced to wait for the fire to reach them.
“When we first arrived, it was about five-acres big,” said Clint Mercer, Alvord assistant fire chief. “But it was in an area where you could barely walk, much less get trucks to. It was not safe to put people out there on the defense because if something went wrong, it would be hard to get the people back out of there.”
During the course of the fire, one structure was threatened. But there were plenty of resources available to protect it, Mercer said.
In addition to the U.S. Forest Service, firefighting units from Alvord, Chico, Lake Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Paradise, Greenwood/Slidell, Decatur, Sunset and Forestburg responded. A Precinct 2 grader, one contract dozer and two contract fire engines also assisted.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no one was injured, and no structures had been lost.