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Fires burn outside Floresville, La Vernia
REUBEN GARCIA, dcameraman.net
Flames blacken the dry grass along the shoulder of northbound U.S. 87 near C.R. 356 north of La Vernia May 3 as a grass fire burns in a nearby pasture. Chief Jason Scheel of the La Vernia Volunteer Fire Department said several structures were saved, despite 10 acres of pastureland being burned. The cause of the fire is yet unknown.
FLORESVILLE -- Officials here are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a house on F.M. 1922 east of here May 2.
Chief Lorenzo Ortiz of the Floresville Volunteer Fire Department said no one was injured in the fire reported after 5 p.m. Firefighters from Poth and Sutherland Springs assisted their counterparts from Floresville in extinguishing the fire. The occupants of the home escaped safely and no one was injured, Ortiz said.
The next day, firefighters from La Vernia, Stockdale, Sutherland Springs, and Lone Oak responded at approximately 12:04 p.m. to U.S. 87 north of C.R. 356 outside La Vernia for a grass fire. Chief Jason Scheel of the La Vernia Volunteer Fire Department said the cause of the fire that burned approximately 10 acres of pastureland is yet unknown.
Scheel said the fire was fueled by “chest-deep” grass in some areas and by variable winds. Edwin Baker of the Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office, who was the incident commander at the scene, said firefighters were in service for four hours because the winds made it increasingly challenging for them to protect nearby homes.
“There were times when the winds would shift and we’d be concerned about the homes to the northwest,” Baker said. “Then the winds would shift again and we’d be concerned about the houses to the northeast.”
A recent lack of rain and the early arrival of 90-degree-plus daytime temperatures have officials fearing the worst ahead of the summer wildfire season. Baker said that the Wilson County Commissioners Court will consider instituting a countywide burn ban at its May 14 meeting. This is despite a May 6 storm that brought more than 2 inches of rain to some areas of Wilson County.
“All it did was put off the inevitable if we don’t get more rain,” he said.
Baker continues to urge residents to be cautious when burning trash and debris, as conditions are prime for fires to quickly get out of control.
Baker also said landowners should shred open pastureland and mow grass short near houses.
“Water as much as possible and remove any dead limbs,” he said.
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