When Erath County commissioners chose to extend the burn ban lift Monday, giving residents an additional 72 hours to send months of rubbish up in flames, those who were finally free to burn decided to do just that.
But when the court gave the green light to burn, the last thing they had in mind was sending area firefighters racing across the county to extinguish controlled burns that quickly raged out of control.
While the fires spared structures and no injuries were reported, a blaze that ignited on CR 283 just before 4 p.m. Tuesday got dangerously close to two mobile homes, burning a trail between the two residences. Behind one trailer, flames and smoldering grass encircled a propane tank and wiring on an air conditioning unit was damaged. Chris Gable with the Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue said the flames were the result of a flare up from a controlled burn on Saturday.
“When dealing with low humidity and heavy winds, these fires can smolder for days,” Gable said.
Just hours before, crews with ECVFR and five other departments responded to a grass fire behind the South Point Volunteer Fire Department, which consumed an estimated 40 acres before it was extinguished. Six area departments responded to the blaze, which was about 100 yards from the fire department.
An all-day blaze that raged in Lingleville required assistance from the Texas Forest Service. And just before 5 p.m., the department received a call about a fire at Pigeon Road Estates.
Gable said ECVFR responded to nine fires Sunday, four Monday and as of 5 p.m. Tuesday had assisted in extinguishing four blazes.
The burn ban will be reinstated Thursday.
Gable is reminding residents that controlled burns should never be left unattended and urges everyone to exercise extreme caution when burning trash and brush.