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'Uncanny coincidence' | Chalk Mountain Fire takes prehistoric shape

The fire appears to have taken the shape of a dinosaur track discovered not far away at Dinosaur Valley State Park.

SOMERVELL COUNTY, Texas — The Chalk Mountain Fire in Somervell County has burned more than 6-thousand acres since it started on July 18.

It's had devastating and historical impacts on homes and ranchers but has also become known for a prehistorical reason.

The path it's taken is in the shape of a dinosaur track. An Acrocanthosaurus three-toed dinosaur to be exact.

It's certainly a coincidence that the fire would have such an unusual shape but what's even more of a coincidence is that it's burning less than half a mile from Dinosaur Valley State Park where in 1972 an Acrocanthosaurus print was discovered. 

According to a post on the Lone Star State Incident Management Team Facebook page, the print was left in the mud of the Limestone River bottom 113 million years ago!

Chalk Mountain Fire Perimeter Resembles Dinosaur tracks in Nearby State Park 7/28/2022 In what some would call an...

Posted by Lone Star State Incident Management Team - Texas A&M Forest Service on Thursday, July 28, 2022

A wildfire’s shape usually is determined by wind direction, terrain, and the types of vegetative fuels available to the fire, according to the post. The Chalk Mountain Fire spread from its origin in roughly a northerly direction, with three wind-driven runs in separate directions.

"Firefighters generally refer to the starting point of a fire as its heel, and the front of the fire as its head," the post saysh. "If the head runs in multiple directions, each run is referred to as a finger.  Because of the dinosaur footprints for which the area is known, fire managers have referred to the three fingers on this fire as the right, middle and left toes."

As of July 27, the fire was 53% contained after firefighters gained access to a portion of the fire that presented containment challenges in previous days. Using a bulldozer, firefighters were able to establish a line around this interior pocket of unburned fuel and eliminate the heat source.

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