Crews battle heat and exhaustion fighting grass fires

The battle with a large grass fire continues in Llano County. The fire was sparked Wednesday near County Road 308 and Texas 71 and has burned over 1800 acres.

The fire is about 60% contained according to the Texas A&M forest service. Still no estimated time on when it will be fully contained.

It’s a fight against not only the fire.

“We have aircraft in the air also on ground suppression we have dozers and engines as well,” said Jake Gosschalk a spokesperson for the Texas A&m forest service. He add crews are also battling exhaustion.

“The crews have been on and around the area for multiple days so some crews some folks are getting fatigued,” said Gosschalk. Along with the rough terrain, the weather posing its own set of problems.

One of the issues with the heat is the ground, combine this with the low humidity which dries out the brush and grass which is making it easy for the fire to not only spark but to spread. According to Gosschalk the heat is also causing problems for those fighting the fire.

“Drinking lots of water kind of just taking care of themselves watching out for each other having that good situational awareness,” said Gosschalk.

Gosschalk said crews are out there 16 hours at a time before rotating.

Another issue crews faced on Thursday was the lack of gas. Word got out about vehicles being in need so members of the community stepped up to donate several gallons.

“This is my community this is were I work and live and serve. My kids live and whole family and that so I want to take care of our community,” said Allyn Rub who donated gas.

After receiving plenty of gas crews are now saying they can handle it from here.

“The meaning and the heart in wanting to donate is awesome we are not discounting that at all but we are a self contained incident right now so we are taking care of ourselves,” said Gosschalk.

With how dry the area is Gosschalk urging people to be careful with flames outdoors and to pay attention to burn bans.

There is another fire down the road on Smith West in Blanco County which has burned about 775 acres which is 45% contained. The cause for both is still unknown.