By LIBBY CLUETT
PALO PINTO COUNTY – The County Disaster Relief Team of Palo Pinto Inc., working in coordination with County Emergency Management Coordinator Buddy Harwell, is responding to the needs of local firefighters who have been battling recent, ongoing fires, according to DRT Coordinator and President Cindy Maness.
Local volunteer fire departments have been working hard over the past couple of days, assisting Stephens County on a fire in the Caddo area, near the Palo Pinto County western border.
Harwell said Wednesday afternoon that Palo Pinto County crews had to leave to tend to a fire in Santo that consumed about 12 acres and was started by an electrical short from water well pump.
He said they resumed work assisting on the Caddo-area fire sometime after 3 p.m. Wednesday.
In all, Harwell said there are four Stephens County departments and six from Palo Pinto County battling an estimated “650- to 700-acre fire in thick cedars all east of Park Road 33 and north of [U.S.] Highway 180.”
He noted fire danger is rising and, at 3:50 p.m., said the temperature was 102 degrees, humidity was 21 percent an winds were 12 miles per hour from the south.
The DRT is coordinating an effort to provide these firefighters with items they need to fight this and any future fires in the hot conditions.
To be able to respond quickly to current needs and any future needs, they need certain food and non-food items, such as water and Gatorade, which Maness said they can never get too much of. In addition, they are asking for help purchasing the following items: soft drinks, dill pickles, cookies that won’t melt, chips, granola bars, condiment packets, pop tarts, hard candy, peanut butter crackers and cheese crackers, as well as non-food items, like individual hand wipes, ziplock baggies, paper lunch sacks and towels.