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Wednesday June 1 - Wildfire Update

Lightning west of Marfa, May 31st. KRTS photo by Chase Lindley.

Last evening's rain was a sight for sore eyes in Far West Texas, but cloud to ground lightning also caused several fires. Here's the status of fires in our area.

In Jeff Davis County, the High Lonesome Fire is out. The Buffalo Pasture Fire is still burning, but a dozier line has been dug around fire. According to Jim Fowler of the Fort Davis Volunteer Fire Department, crews believe there isn't a threat of it spreading beyond the dozer line. According to the current estimate, the Buffalo Pasture Fire has burned 200- to 250 acres. The Friend Mountain Fire is 0% contained. The fire is currently burning at top of the mountain in an area inaccessible to fire crews. It's location approximately 12 miles north/north west of the McDonald Observatory. Currently, Fowler doesn't think any structures are under threat a this time. Additionally, the fire department heard word of an unnamed pasture fire that was contained by ranchers last night.

KRTS also spoke with Gary Mitschke of the Marfa Volunteer Fire Department. Fires early yesterday evening, one 5 miles west of town, and another near the Riata Inn, were out by 10 PM last night. The Crown X Fire, located east of Crown X, was also contained with help from Texas Forest Service. The Nopal Road Fire was extinguished at 1 AM, but started up again at 2:30 AM. It was subsequently contained. Additionally, a fire on Casa Piedra Rd on Pinitas Ranch is still smoldering. This fire is located 14-15 miles east of the HWY 67 intersection.

Mitschke also said that, because of the many lightning strikes, some fires could be smoldering in pastures and catch on fire again as they gain fuel. The fire department will be monitoring these areas.

In Brewster County, 3 fires were started by limbs falling on electrical lines. According to Betse Esparza, Public Information Officer of the Brewster County Emergency Management Department, all were put out immediately.