Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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August 13, 2012

Lightning strikes twice in areas hit again by fire

By CHRIS AGEE| cagee@mineralwellsindex.com

Two areas that were in the middle of last year’s massive wildfires are burning again.

Lightning is believed to have started fires on the Rhodes Ranch northeast of Palo Pinto and what is being called the “Dark Valley Fire” off State Highway 254 east of State Highway 16 between Graford and Possum Kingdom Lake.

The Dark Valley Fire was reported at about 50 percent contained. Twice the Rhodes Ranch fire was reported as contained and out with crews “mopping up” hot spots but twice the fire has rekindled.

Authorities cited lightning strikes as the likely cause of two Palo Pinto County fires, which have consumed some 2,400 combined acres.

The first began Tuesday afternoon on property on the Rhodes Ranch, east of Palo Pinto, and was reportedly fully contained early Wednesday morning after scorching about 400 acres of property. Thursday afternoon, though, Palo Pinto County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell confirmed the fire had rekindled and jumped the southern containment line, reigniting and destroying approximately another 400 acres.

Four local fire departments sent personnel to the scene, Harwell said, aided by a strike team from the Texas Forest Service and American Red Cross.

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