Wise County Messenger
WISE COUNTY WEATHER

Fires burn nearly 200 acres

WISE COUNTY


WILD FIRE — Firefighters from multiple Wise, Denton and Tarrant county departments battled multiple fires in the Grasslands Saturday. SUBMITTED

WILD FIRE — Firefighters from multiple Wise, Denton and Tarrant county departments battled multiple fires in the Grasslands Saturday. SUBMITTED

Firefighters from several Wise County departments, along with personnel from the Forest Service and Denton and Tarrant counties, battled multiple grass fires on County Road 2560 and Greenwood Road Saturday.

The three fires — two on County Road 2560 and one on Greenwood Road — burned nearly 200 acres collectively. No structures were damaged. Wise County Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Powell said some structures were threatened.

Powell added the fires appeared to be “roadside starts.” They were not prescribed burns by the Forest Service.

The first fire units were called to County Road 2560 near Forest Service Road 999 around 2 p.m. An additional fire was later reported along County Road 2560.

The largest fire, named the Cottonwood fire, burned between 100 and 120 acres. Powell said around 8 p.m. Saturday it was contained. U.S. Forest Service personnel used dozers and cut fire lines around the blaze to contain it.

The other fire on County Road 2560 burned 60 to 70 acres. The Greenwood Road blaze torched 30 acres.

Decatur, Alvord, Greenwood/Slidell, Paradise, Chico, Crafton and Sand Flat firefighters along with the out-of-county, state and federal personnel fought the fires. Planes were also used to drop retardant.

Denton County’s Office of Emergency Management, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Wise County EMS and Texas Department of Public Safety also provided resources.

Several roads in the Grasslands were closed while firefighters battled the fires.

Wise County remains under a 90-day burn ban due to the dry vegetation. Seasonably warm temperatures in the upper 60s with wind gusts around 20 mph and humidity levels near 10 percent fueled Saturday’s fires.

All of Wise County is in severe drought, according to the latest USDA drought monitor. The average Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) for the county is 441, with a high of 512. KBDI measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture on a scale ranging from 0 to 800.

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