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Wildfires Update - Thursday Evening Report

Firefighter in Val Verde County, photo courtesy of Tex Toler.

On Thursday evening, KRTS Spoke to Ed Brown, from the Trans-Pecos Fire Complex team, based in Midland. He recapped today's fire-fighting operations in Far West Texas.

Click above to LISTEN to the audio report. Mr. Brown spoke with Rachel Osier Lindley, Tom Michael, and John Jennings of KRTS.

HIGHWAY CLOSURES: Highway 90 closed between Marathon and Sanderson AND Highway 385 closed between Marathon and Fort Stockton.

The Gage Holland Fire, on the west side of Alpine, ignited Sunday afternoon, May 8. It is now 95% contained. Crews spent the day on "mop up" operations.

The Iron Mountain Fire, about 10 miles northwest of Marathon, in the Iron and Glass mountains, began Monday morning, May 9. There was good progress made today in fighting that blaze. Officials upgraded the containment level to 50% (up from 25% this afternoon), and simultaneously update the acreage from 36,386 acres to 59,010 acres, mostly due to succesful burn-out operations. The U.S. Forest Service was joined by Texas Forest Service and Texas Parks & Wildlife, and other agencies. There were successful drops of water and fire retardant from the air today. There remains one residence with 10 out-buildings threatened.

The Schwartz Fire, on the eastern edge of Brewster County, began on Saturday, May 7; it has since expanded into Pecos County. Highway 90 remains closed, between Marathon and Sanderson, due to smoky and sparky conditions.The highway is expected to remain closed until very early Friday morning (May 13) at 1 AM. There was growth today on the Schwartz Fire, with an acreage increased from 32,700 acres to 49,049 acres. Today the fire made "head runs" to the south and to the east. The containment level is still 25%.

Former KRTS/KXWT News Director