West Texas News!!

More Fires Threaten Alpine

May 12th, 2011 10:39 PM by Ginger Turner

Mother's Day was not so enjoyable for me this year.  Around noon on Sunday smoke appeared west of Alpine, on the west side of Twin Peaks.  I drove out to find the source because it looked too close to town.  I followed fire trucks and sirens to a roadside park just 3 miles or so from the edge of town and found black smoke filling the sky and a line of fire heading north into a valley.  I talked to Chief Scudder of the fire department and he said the fire was heading towards Sunny Glen area.  I asked what they needed and he said "water".  I raced back to town and the chaos began.  I called Heath and told him about the severity of the fire and he grabbed his truck and loaded his 400 gallon water tank and started to prepare for the fight.  Cars were filling the highway and sirens were wailing through town and the smoke became thicker and wider.  We filled the tank and stood by as the fire made its way through a valley that was not accessible.  The fire crept up the mountain on both sides, within 2 hours it jumped the railroad tracks into a grassy, mesquite filled pasture and took off.  Heath and his Dad had arrived with tractors and began clearing the pasture on the north side of the railroad to prevent the fire from encroaching into areas with homes but the fire grew and raced around them.  We were called out because the fire was on nearly 3 sides of us and soon we'd be trapped.  Heath headed out to the highway to fight the fire there and continued fighting well into the night.  The fire grew very strong and threatened over two dozen homes, not including Sunny Glen Estates where the fire was heading.  The glow from town was horrific and scary.  Roads were blocked so hundreds of people lined the highway and streets near the area and watched the fire into the night.  Ranchers from the area played a very important role in fighting the fire as the planes and helicopters stopped for the night and the forest service retired.  Volunteers filled the mountainside, successfully keeping the fires from reaching homes.  The "Gage-Holland" fire was finally contained on Wednesday.      
Posted in:General
Posted by Ginger Turner on May 12th, 2011 10:39 PM

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