DFW International Airport (CBSDFW.COM) - Conditions were ripe for an outbreak of grass fires in North Texas.
Fires burned in Prosper, DFW International Airport and in Terrell.
It is the start of what could be a very busy holiday weekend for fire crews.
The grass fire on DFW International Airport property and in portions of
northwest Irving was reported just before three Friday afternoon.
More than 20 acres burned. As a precaution, the FAA temporarily closed Runway
17-L and 13-L. Flight operations were moved to five other open runways.
Two hours later, there were grass fires along Highway 380 in Prosper.
“We were lucky this time. It didn’t come to the house this time
but the smoke was horrible,” GayNell Reno said.
Prosper Fire Chief, Ronnie Tucker, said each fire, along Highway 380
had been separated by at least a quarter of a mile of land.
“It’s awful odd you have three in a row separated by half a mile, quarter
of a mile,” Chief Tucker said.
So, the question is what could have ignited each one.
“It couldn’t jump to the three separate fires because of the wind
direction. It would have to go into the wind,” Chief Tucker said.
Tucker said, conditions are so dry, anything could have ignited the fires like a chain
dragging underneath a car or a lit cigarette or hot embers.
“We did have a person stop by and say they saw a BBQ smoker going
Down the road,” Chief Tucker said.
In all, 450 acres burned. But there were no reported injuries.
“They had to send my kids up town to keep them from getting smoke
Because they have asthma,” GayNell Reno said.
Several houses and barns were threatened but fire did not touch any of
them thanks to crews from Prosper and nine neighboring cities.
At that same hour, fire crews in Terrell were called to contain a brush fire.
It started along I-20 at the 497 mile marker. 20 acres burned there.
Conditions over North Texas are more than just a little dry.
“It’s horrible. Horrible,” Chief Tucker said.
Chief Tucker said he would not be surprised if burn bans were put in place in
the next couple of weeks.
There are sure to be Memorial weekend celebrations that include grills.
The Chief Tucker urged people to make sure the fire’s out at the end of the
day because the wind we have right now can easily kick it back up.