Mesquite Heat Fire
05/29/222 - now 100% containment
May 17, 2022 a large fire started close to Coronado’s Camp with very high winds and rough terrain. The initial call for the fire was for ECCA Volunteer Fire Department. Very quickly ECCA knew more resources were needed and View and Buffalo Gap Volunteer Fire Departments, as well as the Texas Forest Service were called to assist. Upon arrival access was made through Buffalo Mountain Ranch to find a very fast moving fire with very high flame lengths. The fire became too dangerous and crews kept having to pull out of the way of the fire and try a different angle of attack. Not long after all this was happening, a call came out saying the fire was reaching View in the Hidden Valley Road vicinity. The fire continued to move north and take over several houses despite crew’s efforts to stop the fire from the houses. The very fast moving fire pushed fire crews out and relocated to Hillside Road just north of Hidden Valley. Command was set up at the end of Hillside Road and more agencies were called. Spot fires jumping at least 1000 yards ahead of the fire became trouble for crews battling the fire and continued to threaten more homes now on Hillside Road. As night fall became closer, temperatures lowered and humidity raised to help crews throughout the night. When night fall hit, forward progression had stopped. Crews continued working throughout the night and into the next day. Roughly around 2 pm humidity had dropped tremendously from the night before and winds really picked up. Places crews could not get to along the west flank of the fire due to rough terrain flared back up. The fire now was moving north west at a high rate of speed. A second fire along the west flank closer to Coronado’s Camp also flared up headed for the flare up further north. A third fire flared up along the east flank of the fire. Winds, temperatures, and humidity along with the fire started a very bad storm creating a very large tornado composed of dirt and wind barreled straight for the fire. This storm changed wind direction and pushed the fire straight east towards View. Despite efforts, crews were unable to stop the fast moving fire. Residents on Braune Road and county road 297 were asked to evacuate at this time. Chief Bishop learned the fire had now jumped 277 closer to Coronado’s Camp and the other east flank fire was headed to jump 277 as well. Residents on Cr 321 and along HWY 277 were asked to evacuate and HWY 277 was shut down. The fire continued to grow and gain speed as it crossed HWY 277 and residents in Buffalo Gap were asked to evacuate. Crews were able to stop the new head fire along Braune Road and FM 1235 along the hills of Camp Berkeley. The new flank fire to the north of the head fire was stopped along Cr 297.
Many homes, vehicles, sheds, livestock, pets, and wildlife were lost during this fire. Keep all the families that lost their homes and livestock and properties in your prayers. We want to thank everyone especially the community of View for the support of the fire department and the way our community has come together to help one another in these trying times. We want to thank all the resources that came to help View, Buffalo Gap, and ECCA to extinguish this large fire from local to state to federal agencies that gave a hand in the efforts. A lot of local departments, state, and federal agencies came to help and we couldn't list them all but we thank you! We also thank the Red Cross for the help you have provided. Other organizations, place of business and restaurants have given such a big hand and there's so many to name and we thank you!
Assisting fire departments were:
Tye, Merkel, Trent, Mulberry Canyon, Potosi, Jim Ned, Lawn, Moro, Hamby, Nolan, Wingate, Lake Sweetwater, Anson, Hawley, Clyde, Baird, Eula, Winters, Ballinger, Texas Forest Service, Abilene Fire Department, Dyess Air Force Base Fire Department.
Today, 12 days later, all agencies have pulled out and declared this fire 100% contained. Thank you to everyone that had a hand in bringing this fire to an end!