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One Week of Wildfires

Livermore Ranch Fire, Limpia Canyon, 11:15 PM, April 30, 2012. Photo by Jeff Smith.

Tuesday, May 1 @ 1 PM UPDATE: This afternoon, the Texas Forest Service updated the Livermore Ranch Fire at 13,376 acres, at 25% containment, and the Spring Mountain Fire at 10,496 acres, at 60% containment.

Resources on the combined Livermore Ranch Complex are 3 hand crews, 2 Type II helicopters, 4 single-engine air tankers (SEATs), 4 heavy air tankers, 12 Type VI engines, 5 Type II dozers, and a Type I incident management team.

Warm and dray temperatures, with low relative humidity, plus breezy southwest winds, will make Tuesday afternoon a difficult day for fire-fighting.

Check marfapublicradio.org for the latest in fire information and wildfire photos.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012: On Monday evening, erratic wind gusts allowed the wildfire threatening the Davis Mountains Resort (DMR) to jump the control line and swirl down into Limpia Canyon, toward the northwest corner of the DMR. Evacuation orders for the DMR, first announced on Saturday night, still remained in effect on Tuesday morning. As a result of the outbreak, fire officials downgraded the wildfire to 0% contained and concentrated resources in the region in order to protect homes and other structures.

The Livermore Ranch Complex Wildfire began a week ago on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 24 when lightning strikes sparked two wildfires in Jeff Davis County. A third wildfire, the McCoy 2 Fire, near the Boy Scout Ranch, roughly along Highway 17, between Fort Davis and Balmorhea, was the first to be put out.

The Spring Mountain Fire, which was located north of Valentine, partly on the York Ranch, burned in mountainous country, and was being monitored by the Valentine Volunteer Fire Department.

The Livermore Ranch Fire, which began west of Mount Livermore, burned heavy timber on Nature Conservancy lands and caused smoky conditions for residents in and around Fort Davis. The fire was active on its north flank and also it’s east flank, toward Bridge Gap and Limpia Canyon, which approached the northwestern edge of the DMR.

On Saturday night, as a result of fire advances and as a precautionary measure, county officials called for the evacuation of the DMR. The residents most effected were on the western section of the subdivision. Reverse 911 telephone calls – in the first use of the new system – went out to area homeowners. The concern of officials is that the DMR has one road in and one road out, and serves 150 households. Evacuees who had no where to stay were being housed at the elementary school in Fort Davis.

On Sunday, further reinforcements arrived from the Texas Forest Service and sightseers were cautioned not to drive along Highway 166. The Hammerfest cycling event – which was held on Highway 118 the day prior – was scheduled for Sunday racing on Highway 166, but was cancelled.

Fire crews worked all weekend on battling the blaze, with an emphasis on setting up control lines to protect the fire's advance into the DMR.

Former KRTS/KXWT News Director