Firefighters battle large grass fire north of Bridgeport


By ground and air, local firefighters and personnel from the Texas Forest Service battled a large grass fire off Texas 101 north of Bridgeport Wednesday afternoon.
The fire appeared to originate off Private Road 1525 and quickly moved north through pastures, charring between 100 and 125 acres.
Bridgeport Fire Chief Terry Long said his department was dispatched to the blaze around 1:30 p.m.
“It started and was about two acres in heavy, heavy fuel,” Long said. “It got in the trees and started setting spot fires out in front of it.”
Firefighters from Bridgeport, Chico, Lake Bridgeport, Paradise and Runaway Bay fought the blaze in brush trucks in the 102-degree heat. The Red Cross and Wise County EMS responded to the scene to provide rehab to firefighters. Local citizens also brought water.
The low humidity of 18 percent and a light breeze helped fuel the flames over the dry vegetation. In the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), which measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture, the county was at an average of 721 on a scale ranging from 0 to 800. The top end of the scale represents completely dry conditions. The high in the county is 751.
Texas Forest Service firefighters manned three bulldozers, helping local firefighters on the ground knock down the fire. Texas Forest Service pilots in a helicopter and two single-engine air tankers (SEATs) dumped water and fire retardant on the fire from the air. Another airplane circled the fire to coordinate the other aircraft.
As of 6:30 p.m., only 25 percent had been contained according to Wise County Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Powell.
He added that a few homes were evacuated for a short time, but residents have been allowed to return home.
“Multiple structures were threatened, but none were lost at this point,” Powell said.

Update at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday: Powell reports that the fire is 70 percent contained and has burned around 150 acres.

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Fire destroys mobile home near Bridgeport


Fire destroyed a mobile home in the 1400 block of Farm Road 2123 south of Bridgeport early Wednesday morning.
No one was at the home when firefighters arrived to find it fully involved.
Bridgeport Fire Chief Terry Long and Wise County Fire Marshal Jeff Doughty were unsure if anyone lived in the trailer. Bridgeport, Paradise and Cottondale firefighters responded to the blaze.
Doughty said he will be investigating the cause of the fire.

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Fire damages plane at Bridgeport Airport


After a short flight back from Decatur, Eddie Green had just landed and was taxiing to his hangar at Bridgeport Municipal Airport Saturday evening when the single engine to his Military T-41 sputtered and died. As Green tried to restart the engine, he noticed flames out the right window.
“It was short flight. I dropped some friends off and literally got off the runway and taxied to right here,” Green explained. “It started sputtering and the engine quit. I knew I had plenty of fuel, so I cranked it. When I cranked it, I looked out the right window and flames started coming out. I jumped out and grabbed a fire hose.”
Fire spread from the engine to the interior of the plane causing extensive damage.
Green, 68, of Bridgeport was uninjured. The retired Air Force and airline captain has owned the plane since 1995.
Bridgeport, Lake Bridgeport and Runaway Bay firefighters responded to the fire and extinguished it.

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Grassfire torches round bales


A grassfire that spread to burn 30 to 60 round hay bales closed Cuba Road east of Bridgeport Thursday afternoon.

Bridgeport and Paradise firefighters responded to the blaze shortly after 12:30 p.m.
Wise County Assistant Fire Marshal Jeff Doughty said a resident was burning trash when it spread, burning less an acre and the round bales.
The road was closed at County Road 3225 due to smoke blowing across the road.

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Fire tears through roof of home


Fire tore through the roof of a home in the 300 block of County Road 1331 between Bridgeport and Chico early Saturday morning.
Bridgeport, Decatur, Paradise and Lake Bridgeport firefighters battled the blaze in the bitter cold just west of Farm Road 1655.
The structure was fully involved when the first units from Bridgeport arrived.
“It was through the roof when we got here. It’d been going for a bit,” said Bridgeport Fire Chief Terry Long.
Firefighters were able to attack the fire from inside the home. Long said a lot of the contents in the home were going to be saved. Much of the home’s roof was destroyed by the blaze.
Kelli Weatherly, who has lived in the home for 14 years, made it out of the structure safely along with her sister.
“I was asleep and heard the smoke detector,” Weatherly said.
She did not know where or how the fire started. She said the heat in the home was stuck at 58, and she had a fire in the fireplace Friday evening.
Upon evacuating the home, Weatherly said she called for her dog, Ginger, who did not come. The dog was found and brought to safety by firefighters.

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