Updated 10:25 p.m. 7/5
PALO PINTO COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – A wildfire has burned nearly 1,000 acres in Palo Pinto County.
There are reports the blaze may have been started by a lightning strike near County Road 337, but no official cause has been determined. The road remains closed while the fire continues to burn.
As of Tuesday evening there were three helicopters, six fire engines, five bulldozers and a 20-person hand crew battling the fire.
Palo Pinto County Judge David Nicklas says the fire is north of the city of Palo Pinto and south of Graford.
“As of this morning we had about a 30-percent containment on the fire however this afternoon, after it’s dried out some, it’s really started to pick up and burn much more rapidly than it was this morning,” he said. “I’m not sure how much further it’s gonna go, but it’s picking up some steam now.”
The fire was apparently sparked sometime on July 4. By Tuesday night the containment level had been downgraded to only 10-percent.
So far, the fires haven’t damaged any homes, but 30 homes near the fire have been evacuated as a precaution. “We’ve been able to save numerous structures in a place called Coronado Camp. As far as we know nothing down there has been destroyed,” said Judge Nicklas.
The area of Devils Hollow Road was also evacuated, but both evacuations could be lifted Wednesday.
The area that has burned is to the north of county road 337. The county says the fire is burning in mostly open land with several oil and gas wells nearby. No injuries have been reported.
Both state and federal forest crews are working with local crews in fighting the flames. “We’ve got Texas Forest Service and also the U.S. Forest Service folks have rolled in and brought some equipment with them,” explained Judge Nicklas.
Another Palo Pinto County fire, at Possum Kingdom Lake, destroyed more than 150 houses and structures and scorched 127,000 acres back in April and May.