Wildfire comes close to neighborhoods in Katy

iWitness photo of the wildfire in Katy

June 21, 2011 8:33:36 PM PDT
Flames came dangerously close to Katy-area neighborhoods around Mortan Ranch, El Rod, Franz and Porter Roads on Tuesday afternoon.

Fire crews expect to remain there overnight, checking for hot spots. They currently have water on all sides of the fire.

The flames took about three hours to contain.

Officials say the fire started near the former Forbidden Gardens facility in the 23500 block of Franz Road. It began as a small grass fire with about 20 acres burning, but in the end, it had grown to about 315 acres.

No structures were burned but certainly there were many threatened by that fire, including old farm houses and neighborhoods around Morton Ranch, El Rod, Franz and Porter roads. However, no evacuations were called for.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office assisted the West I-10 Volunteer Fire Department, and DPS provided air support, telling firefighters where the fire was headed so they could try to get in front of it. They were also battling sustained wind speeds of up about 20 mph.

"Right now, we currently don't have any conditions, as far as they'd be favorable to us," West I-10 Fire Department Assistant Chief Mark Holloway said. "Even with the rain, it's just going to make it a different challenge for us. What it typically does is make the ground wet but it doesn't make the grass green."

Firefighters say they don't yet have a cause of the fire, but no injuries were reported. They say the entire burned section is about one mile wide and about three-quarters of a mile deep.

We've received several photos and video from viewers. If you have photos or video of this fire, you can upload them on our iWitness Reports page at iWitness.abc13.com or email them to news@abc13.com.

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