Campfire ignites 60-acre fire

Jill R. McAfee/Special to The Highlander
The Texas A&M Forest Service assisted in the battle of a 60-acre blaze on Sept. 8 in the Spring Creek Hills Subdivision, about five miles west of Burnet.




By Connie Swinney

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Rough terrain and rocky hill sides challenged fire crews to douse a nearly 60-acre blaze Sept. 8 in the Spring Creek Hills subdivision, about five miles west of Burnet, officials said.

The fire erupted from a ground fire spark around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday and spread quickly, threatening at least two homes and destroying an 8-by-8 outbuilding on one property, just off Yucca Drive.

“It was accidental from a ground fire,” Burnet Fire Marshal John Erskine said. “It looks like it was a cooking fire from a squatter's camp.

“By the time it was contained, it was approximately 60 acres,” he added.

Erskine added by about 7 p.m., there was no “active fire.” As of 10:30 a.m. the following day, the blaze was considered “100 percent under control.”

Extreme heat, low humidity and high winds elevated the threat of the out-of-control fire prompting officials to request assistance from the Texas A&M Fire Service and volunteer agencies county-wide.

“Early on there were 12 houses threatened. There was the potential to evacuate people,” he said. “They (forest service) did help us manage the fire.

“That terrain is steep and rocky. It's hard to get in there. That was the other reason for the air (support),” he added. “They had aerial visuals of the perimeter. Once it's contained, we keep re-soaking the edges where it can't break out again.”

Volunteer agencies who assisted were from Burnet, Bertram, Cottonwood Shores, Cassie, East Lake Buchanan, Granite Shoals, Hoover's Valley, Marble Falls, Oakalla and Spicewood. Marble Falls Fire Rescue also assisted.

Erskine offered words of caution for residents.

“We've got a burn ban. It's for all ground fires. It hasn't gotten to the level where they've stopped barbecuing, but any kind of ground fire is under the burn ban,” he said. “Be diligent about those. At this particular time, with the low humidity, high wind, we are still in a severe fire danger.”

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