Wildfire in Ft. Bend Co. contained; believed to be arson

A viewer snapped this photo of a fire burning near Needville in Ft. Bend County. If you see news happening, snap a photo and send it to news@abc13.com.

September 8, 2011 11:31:17 AM PDT
A wildfire that broke out Wednesday in Ft. Bend County has been contained and now authorities say the cause appears to be arson.

According to the Ft. Bend Co. Office of Emergency Management, the fire was brought under control overnight/early Thursday morning and now firefighters are putting out hot spots.

The Needville area fire started burning Wednesday afternoon in the Williams School Road-Foster School-Baker Road area, north of Needville proper.

About 100 firefighters from 20 fire departments battled the fire. One firefighter was transported to the Oak Bend Medical Center for heat exhaustion.

Roads affected for now include Foster School Rd, Fenske, Baker School Road and Brinkmire.

At least 500 acres burned, according to the Ft. Bend Co. OEM. A barn and a garage containing two cars and a trailer burned, but no homes were affected.

Fort Bend Co. Fire Marshal Vance Cooper says the cause of the fire appears to be arson. Cooper says several residents saw a man driving a white pickup with possible lettering in orange on the sides of the vehicle, then they saw a fire breaking out. He says the suspect could face up to life in prison in the case since a firefighter was injured.

Authorities say Ft. Bend Co. residents should not be alarmed by the smoke or haze which is due to other wildfires, but should be cognizant of the extreme fire danger that exists in the area at this time.

Residents near the fire are asked to follow law enforcement instructions closely to ensure their safety and the safety of their neighbors.

Citizens are advised to stay away from the fire site. If you see thick smoke on the roadway, do not drive through it. If you smell smoke from the fire and you are in your home or car, switch your air-conditioning system to recirculate if possible to reduce the amount of smoke entering your environment.

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