To the editor:
On Monday, June 16, 2008, Brown County witnessed the fury of what fire can do, and the devastation fire leaves in its aftermath. The shear size of the fire was quite impressive, but the greater impact was the size of the team of fire departments and the firefighters who came together to control the fire. Total area consumed by the fire was 901 acres, 603 acres of Guard property and 298 acres of private land.
The fire brought not only Brownwood and Brown County departments, but also our brothers from surrounding counties. Brownwood Fire Department took command, and had two division chiefs to direct fire attacks. As units arrived, forces were divided into these two divisions to work together and calm the beast we were fighting. With low humidity and strong winds, it took all available resources to accomplish this task.
Here is a list of all departments that played an active roll: Brownwood FD, Bangs VFD, Lake Bridge VFD, Lake Dam VFD, Brookesmith VFD, Early VFD, Zephyr VFD, North Lake VFD, Winchell VFD, Indian Creek VFD, Santa Anna VFD, Rochelle VFD, Elm Grove VFD, Brady VFD, Lohn VFD, Placid VFD, Texas Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Guard, Brown County Precinct 4 and Emergency Management Coordinator James Cook. Within these departments, approximately 50 pieces of equipment and approximately 175 firefighters came together as a team to accomplish a common goal — save lives and property.
This fire battle could not have been deemed a success without the other team behind the scene also. Rest and rehab played a major role. This was accomplished by other volunteers who donated, brought or hand-delivered and took care of the firefighters who needed rest, food and drinks. These agencies included American Red Cross, Guardian EMS, Zephyr VFD Auxiliary, Brownwood Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Early Police Department, Brown County constables, Prater Equipment, The Water Store, Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Transportation, REACT, Wal-Mart and Davis-Morris Funeral Home.
This fire was handled in a professional manner, and was brought under control as quickly as possible. With the team effort, no structures were lost, and everyone went home safely. Two firefighters were transported for heat related injuries, and were later released.
Brownwood Fire and Rescue and the City of Brownwood would like to thank everyone involved in this team effort.
Buddy Preston, Fire Marshal
Del Albright, Fire Chief
Grady Shuey, Assistant Fire Chief
City of Brownwood