Wildfire In Falfurrias 50% Contained


POSTED: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 3:15pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 8:25am

FALFURRIAS- A massive fire is consuming thousands and thousands of acres in the Upper Valley and it's yet to be under control. It's the largest fire in Deep South Texas since March of 2008.

News Center 23 obtained snap shots of the massive Smac Ranch Fire that's burning near Falfurrias right now. Officials with the Texas Forest Service say the fire that started over the weekend has been consuming nearly 35 thousand acres ever since and it's currently 50 % contained. As fire fighters are fighting the inferno, they are also fighting against the obstacles that comes with the terrain.

"Some of the other problems firefighters have been having out there is the soil is very sandy and soft and equipment have been getting stuck out there. So that's a difficulty they've been having," said Richard Reufe, a information officer with the regional fire coordinator of the Texas Forest Service.

The intensity of the fire from the pictures and helicopters picking up water from the near by lakes and then dumping them on the flames. As Tuesday is the first day of summer, mother nature isn't backing down, temperatures are expected to be high and dry conditions are remaining the same. High winds fueled the fire on Monday  Barry Goldsmith a meteorologist with the National Weather Service says lighter winds are much needed.

"They need to get 10 mph winds or less especially at night and into the morning to really help get those fire lines set get the retards to take and really knock that fire out and to the point where they can say its fully contained and now controlled," said Goldsmith.

Fire officials say the fire is mostly ripping through ranch lands and no structures nor homes were threatened and no injures have occurred. Various fire departments from the Upper Valley are assisting in the fire fight.
There's no official word on the cause of the fire but Goldsmith believes that it may have started with farm equipment.

"What we've heard so far it was a cattle lick converter from a ranch hand tractor some kind of farming equipment on the ranch that got really hot and set off a spark. it only takes one spark with the ground where is bone dry and you have tall grasses and mesquite that is drying off to spread that fire quickly add winds to it and low humidity it doesn't take long to go from two acres to ten to a thousand to ten thousand," said Goldsmith.

Fire officials expect to have the fire contained within the next couple of days.

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