The best news to come out of Monday afternoonís massive grass fire was that no homes or structures were destroyed, and that no one was seriously injured. The heat and smoke overcame a few of the firefighters who rallied to beat the blaze back, but they were expected to recover quickly.
Quickly was exactly the manner in which 18 volunteer departments responded to this potential crisis. They came from miles around, and included Early, Bangs, Brookesmith, Lake Brownwood Bridge, Lake Brownwood Dam, Blanket, May, Zephyr, Coleman, Comanche, Santa Anna, Placid and other communities. Many, if not most, were volunteers who left their jobs or other obligations to serve their neighbors, using the specialized training which they have obtained sometimes at their own expense. And they brought desperately needed resources that prevented a dangerous situation from becoming a disaster.
Meanwhile, families and friends of residents of the threatened area raced to the scene to assist in securing property and livestock.
Then, as always, whenever a fire of such magnitude breaks out, the Texas Forest Service promptly arrived with ground and aerial equipment to help contain the fireís advance.
Fire is dangerous, and grass fires are especially unpredictable. Some appear to be under control before they get away from firefighters. High winds, dry conditions and lots of fuel provide ideal conditions for a fire that will spread rapidly, and thatís the situation area firefighters faced south of Brownwood on Monday.
Itís important to be well-prepared for situations as this, and the firefighters who stand ready to protect life and property are. Itís more important to be certain that all of the needed resources are on hand to prevent a bad situation from becoming a disaster. Texans have seen that happen much too often, and have suffered tremendous losses quite close to hand. Brown County witnessed the benefits of that preparation and that type of response Monday.