Somervell volunteer firefighters responded to a small grassfire on East US Highway 67 Monday afternoon. A fast response from fire crews and quick thinking from those already on site kept the loss minimal.
Crews on private property were grinding on a metal gate. The wind caught the sparks and carried them to a grassy field on the property next door.
Property owner Craig Dodson said he had all the necessary precautions in place and he and his crew jumped on equipment to beat out the flames while the fire trucks were dispatched.
Captain Tyler Eschbach said two brush trucks and two tankers with a total of seven firefighters responded to the fire. He said only about a quarter-acre was lost once the flames were extinguished.
Shortly before the grassfire, Somervell firefighters were dispatched to a vehicle fire on US Highway 144. Eschbach said the trucks were cancelled once it was determined the fire was in Hood County.
Hood County Fire Marshall Brian Fine said the Indian Harbor Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the call.
Fine said although he wasn’t sure what started the blaze, he knew it started in the bed of a pickup.
“He was driving down the road, looked out of the rear view mirror and saw flames,” Fine said. “The driver was burned on his right arm as he tried to get a few things out of the bed. He was treated and released at the scene.”
The intense heat engulfed the entire vehicle and melted part of the asphalt in the northbound lane. No crews were injured but traffic was backed up into Somervell County passed Somervell Floors for about an hour.
Commissioner Lloyd Wirt addressed the issue of looming fire dangers under citizen’s comments during Monday’s Commissioners Court meeting and suggested that a burn ban ordinance be placed on the next agenda.
And there appears to be no relief on the horizon - literally.
The National Weather Service shows “no significant chance of precipitation in the forecast for the next seven days.” The Granbury Municipal Airport recorded 100-degree temperatures on June 20 and 21, with the high on June 22 topping out at 99.
“It’s fire season,” Eschbach said. “People need to be careful because anything can start a fire. It’s just that time of year.”