Crews try to head off more Davis Mountains fires

February 4, 2013 4:50:55 AM PST
Texas Forest Service crews are beginning work to remove hazardous vegetation in the Davis Mountains Resort area of West Texas to try to prevent a repeat of one of the state's largest-ever wildfires two years ago.

Teams Monday were to begin using hand tools to thin and prune trees and make what's known as shaded fuel breaks along roads used for evacuation. The breaks help keep flames from getting to tree tops.

Forest Service official Phillip Truitt says the breaks also make it safer for firefighters and provide a way out for area residents.

A fire in April 2011 burned more than 300,000 acres in Jeff Davis and Presidio counties, then two months later another fire claimed 12,000 acres. And last May, another 23,000 acres were burned in a wildfire.

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