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Grass fire near Alvord

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Several Wise County fire departments assisted the U.S. Forest Service with a grass fire on County Road 2690 in Unit 21 of the LBJ National Grasslands. The fire started around noon Monday.

U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Erik Taylor said that as of 5:30 p.m., the 400-plus acre fire was 50 percent contained. The good news, he said, was that no one had been injured and no structures had been lost. The cause of the fire is unknown.

By 8 p.m., firefighters had constructed control lines around the perimeter of the 500-acre blaze.

The fire started in a rugged area of the grasslands. But 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.

Although the cause has not yet been determined, authorities believe lightening from yesterday’s storms may have caused it.

In addition to the Forest Service, units from Alvord, Chico, Sunset, Forestburg, Lake Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Paradise and Decatur responded along with heavy equipment from Precinct 2.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty