Firefighters from Somervell County and the Texas Forest Service were still fighting a blaze late Thursday night off County Road 1008.

The cause of the fire was not known, but hundreds of acres appeared to be burning. The Somervell County Fire Department responded and Somervell County Sheriff’s Department deputies blocked the county road.

In two places the road is narrow, with only one lane over low-water crossings. Cars and trucks pulled over to the side to let the emergency vehicles through.

A spotter plane could be seen circling over the area. After 10 p.m. the Texas Forest Service brought in two large bulldozers on flatbed trailers to help fight the blaze. Flames were visible in the night sky west of Farm Road 56 between the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant and Hill City and along County Road 1007 between FM 56 and CR 1008.

The fire broke out late Thursday afternoon. Smoke could be seen from as far away as Venus to the north, according to one witness who was driving from there. A resident from Tolar said ashes were hitting her home Thursday afternoon after the fire began.

The area around the fire is lightly populated with rural homes and ranches and lots of brush and woods.

The Reporter will post further details as they become available.

On Wednesday the Texas Forest Service said it responded to 18 new fires affecting more than 1,500 acres, including a large fire in Coke County in West Texas. In the past week, the service responded to 89 fires affecting almost 9,400 acres. Many of the fires were started by lightning strikes.

The state’s firefighting resources have been taxed this year by major blazes throughout the state, including the Big Trickle Ranch Fire in Bosque and Somervell counties in March and a massive wildfire in Palo Pinto County.