Fort Davis Residents Fired Up At Town Hall Meeting

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

FORT DAVIS - Just 20 minutes before the meeting started, the Jeff Davis County Courthouse seats were already packed, including the upper balcony. Soon it was standing room only so county residents could raise questions.

The town hall meeting took place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

It was meant to be a time which citizens could voice questions and concerns about how the Rock House Fire, which burned for nearly a month and scorched more than 300,000 acres, was handled.

County officials and Texas Forest Service coordinators were on-hand to answer any questions and clear up any rumors going around about the fire.

Questions raised at the meeting ranged from what kind of aid Fort Davis will see for major wildfires in the future, to claims that county fire departments refused to listen to federal recommendations on controlled fires.

One Fort Davis resident, who formally requested the creation of a citizen commission, told NewsWest 9 he just wants the concerns of the people out in the open.

"That's the reason that there is concern, about the decision of the county not to take the advice of the federal officials," Jeff Davis County resident, Steve Bickerstaff, said.

"There are lots of concern," Jeff Davis County Commissioner, Larry Francell, said. "I mean, we've got 300,000+ acres of fire. Everybody's concerned was this the right decision? Is this the wrong decision? Decisions have to be made."

County officials told NewsWest 9, they hope this meeting will clear the air and bring any concerned citizens on the same page.

For any future decisions made in Fort Davis from this meeting, keep it tuned to NewsWest 9 as we continue to update you on the story.