Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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May 15, 2013

Fires erupt at PK, again

Firefighters once again battling PK area blazes

(Continued)

Engebretson said 13 agencies had responded to the scene as of Tuesday, adding 40 personnel were working on the fire at midmorning.

In addition to local volunteer departments, he said Texas Forest Service and the Red Cross were on site to assist in battling the fire.

About 150 structures were potentially threatened by the blaze, he added, noting crews were able to save about 30 structures.

As of Tuesday, officials said five bulldozers and 15 other pieces of firefighting equipment were at the scene, Engebretson said, with one ambulance remaining on standby.

Bulldozers continued to cut fire lines along Upper Burma Road, he added.

Public Information Officer Judi Pierce of the Brazos River Authority, which controls much of the burned land, said the fire “started in a low area and went uphill on what the locals refer to as Burma Mountain.”

She provided a map showing the estimated location of the fire.

“This is the area we believe is affected,” she explained; “but, it is an estimate since we cannot enter the area ourselves.”

Such lack of accessibility will also mean a delay in determining the cause of the blaze, Engebretson said.

“It was out in the middle of the woods,” he said, “so it will take going in there and rummaging around.”

PK Chamber of Commerce Board President Jackie Fewell said there was a “weird calmness” in the area late Tuesday morning.

Fewell, also a realtor with Pondera Properties, solicited information from locals and provided frequent updates on the company’s Facebook page throughout the day Tuesday.

“I noticed when I looked outside the breeze had picked up,” she said, adding individuals who had left their home near South D&D were not able to return.

As of midday Tuesday, she said 32 homes remained without power.

Fewell helped organize the collection of supplies for firefighters at the PK Chamber of Commerce throughout the day Tuesday, asking for prepackaged food items, water, and soft drinks.

Disaster Relief Coordinator Cindy Maness confirmed Tuesday afternoon firefighters had received sufficient water, food, and other supplies to continue battling the fire.

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