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Brewster County wildfires - Tuesday 5:30 PM

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Alpine Volunteer Fire Department extinguishing a structure fire on base of "A" Mountain, Monday May 9, 2011, KRTS photo by Robert Flanders.

Fire crews in Brewster County continue to battle three fires today. KRTS spoke to several officials involved in these conflagrations.

The Holland Gage Fire, west of Alpine is at 70% containment with 4,550 acres burned. Crews were pleased with the progress on that fire today. All roads open, and all residents have returned to evacuated areas.

The Iron Mountain Fire, northwest of Marathon, was surveyed this morning. Still listed at 5% containment, there have been 15,675 acres burned. Due to winds, the fire migrated to the north today and is raging in the Glass Mountains. Crews provided structure protection there today. Trees have been chainsawed around the Mills/Ferguson Ranch Headquarters and around the Sibley Ranch in order to clear a perimeter. There continues to be challenges due to the terrain. According to eyewitnesses, the "smoke is intense" there now.

Officials surveyed the Schwartz Fire this morning. It is listed at 30,226 acres, with 5% containment. Communications is difficult in the region, though fire-defense resources are being shared between the Iron Mountain and the Schwartz fires. Air attacks continued today, via SEATs (Single Engine Air Tankers) and helicopters. The active flank of this fire is now mostly in Pecos County.

Reminder: There is a Wildfire Preparedness Meeting tonight (Tuesday) at 7 PM at the Brewster County Courthouse at 201 West Avenue E in Alpine. You can get a preview of the Firewise Town Hall Meeting tonight on 93.5 FM at 6:30 PM, with a radio interview with fire official D.O. Wilkerson.

Former KRTS/KXWT News Director