By LIBBY CLUETT
A fire that ignited near the City of Mineral Wells' Pollard Creek Water Treatment Plant Sunday afternoon sent smoke over much of the western portion of Mineral Wells before it was controlled by local fire departments.
According to Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joel Thompson the blaze started with a power line that shorted out on the south end of Sand Hill Road.
“It traveled a long way, all the way up to 22nd Street,” he said, adding that he estimates it burned 150 acres.
While the fire burned mostly grass, he said it consumed two site-built structures that didn't appear to be occupied.
“It could have been a whole lot worse,” Thompson said. “I'm just glad there weren't any occupied structures [in the fire's path].”
Relative humidity as low as 15 percent, along with a south wind of 25 mph – with gusts over 30 – combined to quickly spread the grass fire. The blaze was called in around 3:45 p.m. and the fire soon shrouded the western part of town, especially around Miller Stadium, in smoke.
Multiple fire crews and apparatus worked to hold the fire at S.W. 22nd Street. In addition to Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department and city firefighters, Graford, Palo Pinto, Lone Camp and Brazos VFDs came for mutual aid.
Thompson said they didn't leave Sunday's fire scene until about 10 p.m.
Other fires ignited around the county, including one in Oran. Thompson said MWVFD aided Graford in the Oran fire, which was about 5 acres and started after a controlled burn got out of control.