Fort Davis Grassfires Now Under Control

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

FORT DAVIS - Two hundred homes in a Fort Davis area neighborhood are now safe, and firefighters report Wednesday they have a good handle on the dangerous grassfires. NewsWest 9 traveled to Fort Davis to look at the damage first hand. In addition, NewsWest 9 spoke with residents who actually saw those fires break out.

"They would just explode into flames and the flames, because it's so dry. We've got about 6 percent humidity here right now, and the fire would leap maybe thirty feet in the air over these things. And you know it looked like the world was coming to an end," said David Hedges, a Fort Davis resident who lives near where the grassfires started.

Firefighters in Fort Davis said more than 400 acres burned over the past two days on some hilly terrain. And the weather conditions didn't make it any easier.

"There was a steady wind blowing out of the west. And so anytime you have a situation like that, whether it be daytime or whether it be night, the fire is going to continue to make some runs. You have to have recovery at night with the humidity," explained Kelly Bryan, Fort Davis' Fire Chief.

As soon as fire crews spotted the blaze Tuesday evening, county and city officials called for backup.

"We knew that conditions would be prime for this fire to break out again today, and that's exactly what it did," said Chief Bryan. "Making the call got the resources in position that we needed to keep this thing on top of the mountain and not down at the base of it where all the houses are."

However, around 1:45 Wednesday afternoon crews went right back to work. Bombers with fire deterrent, helicopters with water, and even workers looking to control the blaze, all with the same goal: to put the fire out as quickly as possible.

"Our primary purpose for being here is to protect life and property and our number one objective here is to save these houses," said Chief Bryan.

And while about 6 homes were in the direct path of the fire, no structure fires were reported, and no one badly injured.

"This fire department has operated outstandingly. They saved a couple of homes back here that would not have been saved had they not of been here," added Hedges.