North Texas fire departments under strain from constant wildfires


NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – These hot, dry conditions create a tinderbox for fires to spread rapidly.

Nine fires burned across North Texas on Wednesday, and crews are out again on Thursday to protect homes and land. 

Rural departments feel the strain of constantly battling these fires.

The Colony Fire in Hood County just north of Tolar is 60% contained as of 6 p.m. on Thursday, burning 467 acres of land.

With those nine fires, the three new sparks came in Parker, Wise and Hood Counties. 

“We don’t normally do that much. Normally we’d put a lot of resources to one fire as need be,” said Adam Turner, public information officer for the Texas A&M Forest Service.

This puts a strain on local resources. 

“This is as bad as it gets,” said Cresson Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ron Becker.

When their department responded to the fire on Wednesday, one of its teenage firemen was injured with burns to his face and arms. He went to the hospital, but is back home now. 

“Things are looking great with him and we went home last night, didn’t even stay the night in the hospital,” added Becker. 

One of the department’s five smaller brush trucks is broken, and their large one needs a new tire after hitting a sharp rock. 

“Our equipment is getting taxed this year, we’ve got broken trucks that everyone is trying to fix and our guys are running a lot too, they’re working hard,” said Becker. 

To help them, they urge you to restrain yourself from doing anything that will cause a spark.

“Any spark that lands onto tall grass or dry fields can cause a fire,” said Turner. 

“We know these are dangerous fires, we respect them, we’re not going to play games with them,” added Becker. 

The Texas A&M Forest Service told CBS 11 News they’ve noticed some of wildfires are seemingly close to the ones that sparked this past winter, like the Big L Fire which is just five miles away from the Colony Fire, which they say just shows you how busy of a wildfire season it’s been for them.