25-acres of World Birding Center Damaged by Fire

POSTED: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 10:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:32pm

Several grass fires sparked across the Valley today and one of those blazes claimed 25 acres of habitat at The World Birding Center in Harlingen.

Harlingen Fire Captain, Patrick Reilly, says this is the third time in a month that firefighters have been called out to this area. He believes teenagers may be behind all of them. Not only is it dangerous to light any fire with the windy and dry weather conditions right now, but today's fires came close to several homes threatening many residents.

“It could be very dangerous. There are houses all along this bike and hike trail and they're difficult to get to them. It’s very hard to defend them. We’re lucky that the wind has died down and it's out of the north. We were worried about that but it's nowhere near them.”

Another grassfire ignited not very far from the birding center. Reilly says a large pile of debris burned at a landfill on East Harrison Street but was contained quickly.

Officials urge people not to burn any brush as there is a burn ban in effect in Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr Counties.

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