Livermore Ranch Complex Fire Growing, Residents Waiting to Return Home

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

JEFF DAVIS COUNTY - The Livermore Ranch Complex fire continues to burn in Jeff Davis County. So far, it's burned over 20,000 acres.

Patrick Allen with the Texas Forest Service said they've seen increased fire activity on the Davis Mountain Resort side of the fire. The containment has dropped as well and there are numerous structures threatened.

Allen said they've ordered additional resources, but at this point, no structures have been burned.

Meanwhile, people living in the Davis Mountains Resort remain evacuated. They won't get the green light to go back home until everything is under control.

David Marquay has lived in the Davis Mountains Resort for 26 years but for now the Fort Davis Elementary is his temporary home.

"They've provided us with really nice food and take care of us real well," Marquay said.

It's been seven days since dry lightning strikes started the Livermore Ranch Complex fire in Jeff Davis County. More than 20,000 acres have burned and more resources have been called in.

"There's another hand crew that's been ordered and an overhead crew to come manage the fire as well," Allen said.

But it's only been two days since Marquay along with several others left their homes because of the blaze.

"They called up and said 'get out' so I loaded up and left," resident, Sandy Irish, said.

"I only have the one set of clothes I have on," Marquay said.

"The people of Fort Davis know better than anybody, with these fires you never really know what's gonna happen," resident, Dick McCleskey, said. "Rather safe than sorry."

Only about a dozen or so residents are waiting it out at the school. Others have gone with family but we're told many stayed behind.

"They probably wanted to make sure they were around if the fire did get down to their place," Marquay said. "They might be able to put it out and keep it from destroying any of their property."

Officials said this fire is hard to get under control because of the rough terrain.

"Where it is threatening structures in the DMR, it's just very inaccessible in the mountains for apparatus, such as engines, to get to," Allen said.

They're relying heavily on air resources to attack the flames but some of those efforts are being compromised by thunderstorms developing in the area.

Residents are trying to pass the time until they can go back. There's no telling when that will be.

"Now we're ready to go home," McCleskey said.

But they're staying positive through it all.

"Well you have to because if you worry about it, it's not gonna do you any good," Irish said. "If the house goes, it can be replaced, I can do that."

"Thank you very much for all the work they do," Marquay said. "It's very nice to have all those fellas here. We know they are the best there are."