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Tuesday afternoon grassland fire in Alpine put down quickly

April 2, 2013: Shortly after 1 o’clock on Tuesday, a small grassland fire broke out in south Alpine, just east of Highway 118, near the southern city limits.

Resident Ruth Portillo made the emergency call to the Alpine Police Department when she saw the fire growing in a nearby pasture. Portillo became alarmed when she saw that the fire was blowing west toward the backyard of Mando and Gina Matta.

Emergency vehicles arrived shortly thereafter. Lieutenant Darrell Losoya of the Alpine Police Department arrived first on the scene. He sprinted from his vehicle into the Matta’s backyard to grab a hose and begin wetting down the property. Later pump trucks arrived from the volunteer fire department.

The fire was put down as quickly as it sprung up. Some lightning was noticed in the area this afternoon.

Brewster County renewed its burn ban at its commissioner's meeting on March 26.

Big 2 television in the Permian Basin shared our reporting on the pasture fire during the evening broadcast and also online.

Click above to hear audio report.

Wednesday, April 3: The Brewster County Sheriff's Department announced that the Tuesday afternoon fire at East Ave K & South Harrison was started by a resident welding. The Brewster County Commissioners Court recently had reinstated the burn ban, on March 26, but the resident had not obtained a burn waiver and a citation was issued.

The department's report also stated that the first public servant to arrive on the scene was Alpine Police Sgt. Phillip Fierro.
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Former KRTS/KXWT News Director