Brush fire consumes 600 to 700 acres in W. Houston

September 1, 2011 9:42:28 AM PDT
A grass fire near the Addicks Reservoir in west Houston is being monitored very closely again after it re-ignited Wednesday.

Firefighters first responded to the fire off Eldridge and the Addicks Reservoir around 4:30pm Tuesday after receiving several calls. It started as a grass fire and moved into a wooded area. Firefighters had knocked it down, but a southeast wind reignited the flames on Wednesday.

As of late Thursday morning, the fire is now contained within the burn perimeter, which is the area that has already been burned, but fire crews are working on hotspots. About 600-700 acres have burned in the area.

Authorities have pumper trucks on standby, but they can't get out into the brush to fight the fire so they're using booster trucks, which are basically 4x4 pickup trucks carrying up to 500 gallons of water, to get into tough places.

"The fire is contained within the fire lines. Most of what we're doing now is checking some hotspots close to the plow lines," said Captain Wesley Swanson with the Houston Fire Department.

There are no homes or structures being threatened by the flames. Bulldozers are digging wider fire lines Thursday to hopefully keep it from spreading.

"A lot of difficult access, wild land brush, very dry obviously," said shift commander Richard Mann with the Houston Fire Department. "Difficult not only in access but in terms of -- it's known to be a highly snake infested area so our crews have had to be very careful about."

Heat has been a challenge for crews. On Wednesday night, a core of engineers went to the hospital for heat exhaustion. And one firefighter was sent to the hospital, suffering from heat exhaustion as well.

Fire officials say they do suspect that this was possibly caused by a cigarette.

Other fire burning
In the Dallas area, homes are still being threatened by a wind-driven wildfire in the Possum Kingdom Lake area. The Texas Forest Service says about 160 residences are being threatened by the blaze that's scorched at least 6,200 acres since Tuesday. Officials say 39 homes have been destroyed by the fire.

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