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Grass fires prompt area leaders to issue burn bans
by Jason Collins
Sep 06, 2012 | 1196 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Karnes firefighters refill their fire truck as they try to douse a fire near the Bee County line last week.
Karnes firefighters refill their fire truck as they try to douse a fire near the Bee County line last week.
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A truck douses the scorched earth stopping any smoldering embers from reigniting.
A truck douses the scorched earth stopping any smoldering embers from reigniting.
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BEE COUNTY – Firefighters throughout the area have been running hard these past few days battling grass fires in Bee and neighboring counties.

Many of the area county leaders are issuing burn bans and Bee County is expected to follow suit.

David Morgan, emergency management coordinator for Bee County, said that he expects the burn ban to be on next week’s commissioners court agenda.

“The problem we have right now is because we had some recent rains that were pretty substantial, we have some high grass that now turning brown and becoming more of a fire hazard,” Morgan said. “We certainly recommend they don’t do any brush burning but right now it is still legal for them to do that.”

The dry grass has helped fuel several fires throughout this and the neighboring counties.

Last Thursday morning, Bee County firemen were called north because of a grass fire in the Pawnee.

Darrell Phillips, Normanna fire chief, said that several departments were called to the fire; however, Pawnee volunteers had most of it extinguished before they arrived.

“Pawnee took care of 90 percent of it,” Phillips said.

Reports are that the fire was started by a trailer traveling along Farm-to-Market Road 673 causing sparks.

“We never found the vehicle,” Phillips said.

That Wednesday afternoon, another fire was sparked just north of the county line in Karnes, this time by a road crew hitting a power line.

“It’s a wonder they didn’t get killed,” said nearby resident Robert Horne, who has a home nearby.

The sparks from that downed line ignited the dry grass along the roadway.

“Those two county boys they tried to put it out,” Horne said.

The fire spread quickly jumping into Horne’s coastal field.

“Me and my wife tried to put it out,” he said. “It burnt about 70 areas and got some of my fences.”

First on the scene was Charlie Davis, construction foreman, for Talisman Energy who called 911.

Converging on the area were firefighters from Kenedy, Karnes City along with reinforcements from J4 Fluid services to transport water from the Regmund family frac pond. Davis was even able to get graders in to help stop the fire.

Earlier in the day, another fire sparked in Refugio County.

This time it was along Highway 77 and State Highway 239.

Crews from at least seven area departments were called in to help with that fire.

These fires prompted Karnes County officials to call for an emergency burn ban.

Also, as of last week, Goliad and Refugio county were both under burn bans.

Bee County is currently not under a burn ban.
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