WILLOW PARK, Texas -- Calling it a close call seems like an understatement when you see the homes on Fox Hunt Trail.
Yards were burned to a crisp on Tuesday, fences singed, but there was no damage to any homes. Firefighters from Willow Park worked tirelessly to protect more than a dozen homes as a grassfire spread.
High winds fueled the fire that burned more than 2000 acres, according to the latest estimates. The Parker County Fire Marshall believes it may have started when a damaged electrical line sparked.
The winds likely carried the sparks into nearby ranchland, where dry grass served as tinder.
"That's a pretty good size fire," said Nick Harrison, a Firewise Coordinator with the Texas A&M Forest Service. "We have homes in areas that used to be ranches."
Some 250 homes were threatened, but Harrison said the work of firefighters, as well as the preparation of homeowners, helped to avert disaster.
He helps spread the message about wildfire preparedness, particularly in areas like Willow Park where new neighborhoods stand right next to rural terrain.
"We call this the wildland urban interface," he said. "This is where homes meet wildland."
The Texas A&M Forest Service distributes information to the public through their 'Ready, Set, Go!' program, detailing how homeowners can focus on zones around their home.
Among the suggestions: trim dry vegetation, clear gutters and consider a bed of pebbles around the house instead of grass or mulch. Some of the advice is common sense, but it can make the difference when a fire is approaching and spreading embers in the air.
"Anybody can walk around their home, look up, look down," said Harrison. "Can you do things around your home to harden your structure?"