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Multi-alarm grass fire burns almost 40 acres

Multiple area fire departments were called to the Cooper Wildlife Management Area located near Cooper Lake and County Road 2020 in Klondike for an uncontrolled grass fire Monday afternoon at approximately 3:30 p.m. The flames engulfed 38 acres of the heavily timbered area with some scattered spot fires.

The Texas Forest Service Coordinators used Global Positioning System (GPS) to grid the burn area.

With the efforts of volunteer fire departments of Cooper, Klondike, Enloe, East Delta and Pecan Gap along with Commerce fire fighters and multiple tanker trucks the blaze was contained preventing damage to any neighboring privately owned property. Winds caused the fire to spread rapidly over the brush which had not seen any measurable rain in over a month. Smoldering embers from an unattended campfire are the suspected cause.

“At the time of the fire the temperature was at 102 degrees with a humidity level of 28 percent. When humidity drops lower than 30 percent, it is very easy for fuels to ignite and burn… The Texas Forest Service dispatched two dozers and two Regional Coordinators to cut a fire line around the burned area since so much of the fire was in timber, it would have been very difficult to overhaul,” said Tanner Crutcher, Assistant Fire Chief of the Cooper VFD. Texas Parks and Wildlife Management employees and the Delta County Sheriff’s officers were also present.

The fire fighters fought the flames in the triple digit temperatures until 7 p.m.  

“I would like to thanks the EMS and the Red Cross for showing up and helping prevent any heat-related health issues not only during this fire but several of our recent fires,” said Assistant Fire Chief Crutcher, noting only one fire fighter suffered heat exhaustion but was released at the scene.