A fast moving grass fire occurred on Saturday at around 12:45 p.m. on FM500 near the Spring Creek tabernacle. A fire was reported to the 911 operator and San Saba, Elm Grove, Richland Springs and Cherokee Fire Departments attacked it immediately.
The fire was fast moving and in heavy fuel and several residences were in danger. The local departments did an outstanding job protecting the numerous homes and structures while holding the line until additional outside resources could be brought in to assist. The wind moved the fire rapidly and flames as high as 20 feet were reported by firemen at the head of the fire. Once the scene was evaluated, additional assistance was called for and an incident command post was set up by the San Saba Fire Department.
Numerous departments from surrounding counties assisted, as well as the citizens of San Saba. A state air attack unit consisting of two helicopters, two air tankers and two air attack aircraft were used on this fire and did an excellent job of assisting ground units with not only fighting the fire, but seeing the bigger picture as well. Heavy equipment such as maintainers and dozers were just some of the equipment brought in to fight this fire.
The fire burned somewhere between 350 and 400 acres, but no serious injuries were reported and no homes were damaged. The cause of the fire was not determined, but information that a tractor had started the fire is still under investigation.
On a large fire such as this one, more than firefighting and equipment has to be planned for and when the call went out for food, water and ice, the citizens of this county responded. Numerous individuals responded with water, Gatorade, ice, food and fruit. There was no shortage of supplies coming in to the staging area from individuals as well as church groups, businesses, and the City of San Saba.
The following agencies assisted with the fire: Brady, Rochelle, Brooksmith, Lohn, Mills County, Brown County, San Saba EMS San Saba County Commissioners, Precincts 1 and 2, Texas Department of Transportation (Tx DOT), the Texas Forest Service, the Department of the Interior, a National Guard unit and an air attack unit were all deployed to fight this fire.