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Thursday May 3: Livermore Ranch Complex wildfires

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Air Tanker Retardant Drop in Limpia Canyon near DMR, May 2, 2012. Photo by Jeff Smith for KRTS.

UPDATE: Effective at 7 PM, Jeff Davis County Judge Grubb has lifted the evacuation order for the Davis Mountains Resort.

As of Thursday at 1 PM, the Livermore Ranch Fire is considered 40% contained. Thursday morning, crews began monitoring the existing hotspots on the Livermore Ranch Fire portion of the Livermore Ranch Complex. Last night, Wednesday May 2, the concerted air attack concluded just before sundown, and many of the "hot shot" crews wrapped up operation around 8:30 PM. There was optimism among some firefighters that they were getting on top of the fire, and that, barring unforeseen weather conditions, the containment percentage on Thursday would reflect this progress.

“Yesterday was a banner day,” said Jim Durrwachter, operations section chief with the Southern Area Red Team, during a Thursday morning briefing. “Now we just need to hold it.”

Firefighters returned to the blaze this morning to continue building containment line and ensure that the fire holds in place. The Spring Mountain Fire remains lightly staffed and did not move outside its boundary yesterday. Crews continue mop-up operations.

Firefighters count on homeowners to help reduce risk. Jeff Davis County residents can learn about how to protect their homes from wildfire at a workshop scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, May 3, at the McDonald Observatory Fire Station, 200 Lunar Circle, Fort Davis. This workshop, which was scheduled prior to the fire outbreak, will focus on prevention and will not be a briefing on the current situation.

A KRTS News report on the wildfires was carried nationwide on the NPR newscast at 9 PM CT on Wednesday evening. Click above to hear that report.

Former KRTS/KXWT News Director