San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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July 22nd, 2008
Fire threatens Hays County


A fire reported at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday has left between an estimated 150 and 160 acres damaged. Several homes in the vicinity were threatened and residents were voluntarily evacuated. The fire took place at a residence on Rancho Encino Drive at Ranch Road 12 and spread rapidly.

Texas Forest Service Public Information Officer Jan Fulkerson described approximately six homes being affected with fire in their property and near the home.

“None of the homes ignited, we did have direct structure protection on a few of those to keep it from happening,” said Fulkerson. “Luck played a part on some of it, some of the homes had wooden attachments that could have ignited, had they ignited the home would have probably ignited also.”

South Hays County Fire Department was acting on a fire reported at Guadalupe County at the time of the call, prompting the Wimberley Fire Department to take the initiative.

“This is South Hays Fire Department area, but they were on another fire so we had to come to it and start off,” said Wimberley Fire Chief Carroll Czichos.

Czichos stated the fire’s origin as an unattended cooking fire.

“It was actually a cooking fire that jumped out of a container once they left,” said Czichos. “It jumped out of the barbeque pit and onto the grass. The people that started that were not here; they left and went into San Marcos.”

Water was not readily available to contain the fire, which posed a significant problem and a threat to those involved.
“We started sending trucks back and forth to San Marcos when we started,” said Czichos. “Water is always a problem but when there’s pools that definitely helps.”

Two pools in the neighborhood were the primary source of water. Czichos estimated one pool to have 25,000 gallons of water and the other at 11,000 gallons.

Czichos projects a half a dozen vehicles were damaged. The San Marcos Fire Department, Kyle Fire Department, South Hays Fire Department, The Texas Forest Service, Star flight and The Hays County Sheriff Department were also present in containing the fire. Residents were escorted back into their properties at about 7 p.m. once the fire was contained and it was determined safe.

Fulkerson explained two other fires were reported in Hays County, as well as in Bastrop, Guadalupe and Williamson County.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Blanco County got one too,” said Fulkerson. “We are very dry; we are very hot, any amount of wind with the amount of dry fuel that we’ve got, this fire burned from every seeder that it touched, it torched into the oaks. Fires can get real hot, real big, real fast.”


Photo credits to Kathy Misiaszek

These photos were taken yesterday in the 7000 block of Ranch Road 12

Kathy is wearing the white T-shirt and jeans and helping the South Hays FD.

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0 thoughts on “Fire threatens Hays County

  1. Thanks to everyone involved in this effort.
    The potential for fires and a major fire are extreme at this time of dryness and combustion instability. This should be a WAKEUP for all residents that the BURN BAN is serious and that means NO FIRES outside.

  2. A job well done by all the emergency services involved. It was an excellent fire stop and my hats off to you all! This could have been much worse. Thank you again for what you do. – Dan

  3. My wife and I appreciate the excellent job that was done yesterday and the quick response this morning a little before six when we called 911 to report a small flare up on our property. The location where the fire started is more accurately stated as the 400 block on Rancho Encino Drive. We live on the corner of Rancho Encino Drive and Live Oak Hills. Some of the pictures are of our property. We heard that our next door neighbor lost his garage and another neighbor lost some equipment.

    We owe special thanks to a construction worker who assisted the fire department by keeping an area close to our pump house wet with one of our hoses.

  4. Chris, in all fairness, that area is at least a half mile from the fire department on 12 with the burn ban sign out front and it is only mid-July.

    They probably didn’t have any idea.

  5. Your right, but this burn ban and sign did not just appear last week or so. It has actuallly been there for quite a while(since before the 4th of july). We all know by watching the news and by the conditions outside most people just don’t think that they could start such a big disaster. I hope evryone can learn from this and really appreciate your local volunteer fire depts. South Hays Fire And Rescue continued operations throughout the night and the next day with no pay. Thanks to all depts. involved for doing what you do from your heart not from your pocket.

  6. Ted,
    I presume you were being facicious with Chris? We have had a burn ban on for some time and the person or persons who were responsible probably had seen the burn ban sign several times. Sometimes wer do not associate BBQ type fires with the potential to start a massive fire,but the potential is always there.

  7. Who leaves a barbeque unattended in the first place? Is this issue being addressed?

    It is great to hear that no one was hurt and that there was minimal damage. In such a drought, things could have been much worse.

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