Wildfires burning in Wise County

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on August 31, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 1 at 2:08 AM

Wise County grass fire

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WISE COUNTY — Firefighters battled a large brush fire in Wise County that reamined uncontrolled Wednesday night. Two homes were lost to the flames.

The fire, centered around the town of Cottondale, started near County Road 3547 just after 1 p.m. and continued to burn nearly three hours later. Dry grass and trees fueled the blaze. At least one person was injured and was taken to a hospital in Bridgeport for treatment.

HD Chopper 8 pilot Troy Bush said the fire appeared to double in size between 3 and 4 p.m.

Officials are unsure the size of the fire. At least 200 acres were thought to be burning and about 20 homes were threatened. However, sheriff's department officials said they could not be sure how many homes were in danger because there are many unmarked, dirt roads in the area.

A ranch building adjacent to a barn burst into flames as the fire swept through the area. It appeared that propane tanks were ignited by the fire, adding to the inferno.

At least two mobile homes were destroyed by the flames. An estimated 50 to 60 people were evacuated from the area.

The original fire command post on County Road 3457 has been abandoned due to advancing flames.

The Tarrant County Task Force and firefighters from five counties have all responded to the fire, with volunteers working on creating fire breaks using bulldozers, water and chemical agents.

Texas Forest Service helicopters arrived at the scene and air attack choppers were requested to help control the fire's spread.

News 8 was told one firefighter may be injured, but there was no word on that person's condition.

Another large range fire continued to burn near Possum Kingdom Lake in Palo Pinto County on Wednesday, fueled by dry conditions, high temperatures and low humidity.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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