Texas fire map, updated as Mesquite Heat Blaze triggers Abilene evacuation

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Crews are battling several wildfires in Texas, including two in Llano County, the Sandstone Mountain Fire and the Slab Road Fire, just minutes away, while the Mesquite Heat Fire has led to an order evacuation in the city of Abilene and destroyed at least 10 houses. .

As of early Thursday morning, there were eight active fires across the state, according to the Texas Wildfire Incident Response System. These are primarily in central Texas including the Coconut Fire in Wilbarger County, Llano County Fires, one in Johnson Fork, Pope 2 Fire in Schleicher County, Mesquite Heat Fire and another in Mayfield.

The dry branch fire in Hamilton County is estimated at 4,000 acres as of May 18 according to the Texas A&M Forest Service, which said it was responding to the blaze.

There was also an active fire near Amarillo in the far north.

According to the Texas Wildfire Incident Response System, six wildfires were brought under control Thursday morning, including the Bowman, Great Oak, Mountain Ridge, Pope and Split fires.

A map of all the wildfires currently in Texas, as of Thursday morning.
Texas Wildfire Public Spectator

Fire officials said 10 homes were destroyed in southern Taylor County as the Mesquite Heat Fire burned for a second day, KTAB reported.

Homes on Braune Road, from Hidden Valley Drive to Highway 277 and all of County Road 297 were evacuated “immediately” at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office said.

In a Facebook post at 9 p.m. local time Wednesday night, the Lone Star State Incident Management Team with the Texas A&M Forest Service said, “The Texas A&M Forest Service and fire resources of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) responded to several new requests for wildfire assistance across the state today.”

“Large wildfires may occur in western/eastern hills and rolling plains through Friday, including areas near Childress, Vernon, Abilene, Brownwood, Lampasas, San Angelo , Ozona and Fredericksburg,” he warned.

“Any new fires in grass and brush vegetation will likely resist control as underlying dryness and critical to extremely dry vegetation combine with 100 degree temperatures and periods of high to critical fire weather. .”

The Llano County judge said while crews are making good progress on the two wildfires along Route 71, it could be the start of a very bad summer, FOX 29 reported.

“Some people don’t realize how dangerous these conditions are, the smallest of sparks can start a bushfire,” Judge Ron Cunningham told the news channel on Wednesday.

The judge, who has lived in Llano County for much of his life, said the conditions reminded him of 2011, a particularly bad year for fires.

“Summer started out remarkably similarly, with low water and dryness,” Cunningham said.

Fourteen agencies are working together to put out the fires, including the Texas A&M Forest Service, FOX 29 reported. Airborne resources are also helping to put out the fires, the agency said.

Newsweek has contacted Texas A&M Forest Service for further comment.

A Texas A&M Forest Service firefighter suffered multiple burns Tuesday night while battling a wildfire in Wilbarger County, according to the Lone Star State Incident Management Team with the Texas A&M Forest Service, News 6 reported. .

A thunderstorm near this fire brought erratic winds that fanned the fire, changing its behavior and making it harder to contain. A firefighter was taken to hospital for treatment for burns caused by radiant heat. They were later released and no other firefighters were injured, according to a Facebook post from the management team.

Texas has two wildfire seasons. One in late summer and fall, when temperatures in the Lone Star State tend to be highest, and one in the dormant season between winter and spring, when vegetation is dead, dormant or extremely dry.

Texas fires
A woman hugs her daughter-in-law as they return to their burnt-out home on the east side of Lake Bastop September 6, 2011 outside Bastrop, Texas. Several large wildfires have devastated Texas over the past two days.
Erich Schlegel/Getty

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