SAN ISIDRO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The dry and windy conditions across the valley are fuel for fires, and Starr County has been one area feeling the impact of recent brush fires.
Chief Bernabe Benavides of the San Isidro Fire Department said the drought combined with high winds fueled flames to spread rapidly across 400 acres in the city on Wednesday, August 4, but a day prior, county and city fire department officials responded to a brush fire inching its way toward Grulla High School in La Grulla.
The blaze caused the school to be evacuated.
The brush fire in San Isidro also received assistance from fire departments across the Valley after San Isidro firefighters were unable to stop the fast-spreading fire.
“We have a lot of high grass that’s very brittle and then with the high wind, it’s not a good combination. Very dangerous for the firefighters fighting these fires,” said Benavides.
It took fire crews about seven hours to contain the fire but crews continued monitoring for hotspots overnight into today, according to Benavides.
He said although no injuries were reported, one abandoned barn was destroyed.
Aside from fire crews responding, the American Red Cross was also on the scene.
“We provide, as part of our disaster services, what we call canteening services and by that, we have a large emergency response vehicle,” said the executive director of the American Red Cross South Texas Chapter, David Luna.
Luna explained that their emergency response vehicle helps them provide a canteen service, which provides first responders with water and snacks to help during their response efforts.
Benavides said with weather conditions remaining dry, there are ways the community can help in the prevention of brush fires.
“We urge the residents to be careful when they burn trash or when they’re welding, even when driving a vehicle on top of dry grass, the muffler will ignite grass,” he said.
He explained that burn bans are in effect for Starry County and said if anyone gets reported for burning fires during the ban, a warning will be issued or even a citation.
Benavides said the citations could be up to $500.