Fires fly through Erath

Mere hours after a seven-day burn ban was instituted by Erath County Judge Tab Thompson, plumes of smoke rose into the sky on Highway 377 between Dublin. 

At around 4 p.m. on June 27, grass fires were reported on the hill between Erath County Dairy Sellers and Happy Valley Estates, in the hay field just past Happy Valley and across from the weigh station, in a small patch of grass at the stop sign by St. Mary’s Catholic Church and on the APM Manufacturing property.

Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue reported on Facebook: “We will probably never know the exact cause, but it was likely started by a passing vehicle dragging a chain or other equipment.”

The first units from Erath and Harbin Fire Department discovered fires moving fast with several structures and vehicles, prompting an “all tone” requesting assistance from any other available department.

As other local agencies rushed to the highway, a small fire sparked in front of the former Dublin Pawn but was put out as it was started by Dublin first responders and other passers-by. Units were also spread to FM 219 on the south side of Dublin as several fires sparked the dry grass near the roadway headed toward Purves. All of this was likely caused by the same source, according to Erath County Fire Rescue reports.

A reported 100 acres of grassland and brush were burned but no structures were lost. Erath County was warned that smoke would likely be seen for several days following the fires. Firefighters were called to County Road 351 (near the hayfield fire) several times in the day that followed as rekindlings were reported through Saturday.

Responding fire departments included Dublin, Erath County, Harbin, Lingleville, Huckabay, Morgan Mill, Bluff Dale, Selden, Stephenville, Carlton and Hico. Erath County First Responders provided rehab and drinking water for all the firefighters on scene and also helped gain access to the fire.

Erath County Commissioners are expected to determine whether to extend the burn ban during its next meeting.

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