Multiple fire departments worked to halt a blaze near Blanket Wednesday that threatened nearby homes and farmland.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Brown County emergency dispatchers requested immediate assistance after a pair of lightning strikes ignited grass near the 1400 block of County Road 145 outside Blanket.
“When we call for mutual aid, it’s about the size of the fire and if you think you can handle it with what you have,” Blanket Volunteer Fire Chief Robert Rogers said. “Almost every department goes with the idea of it’s better to call for help first and send them home then it is to wait, not call them and have to fight it for a few days.”
The BVFD seemed to make the right decision Wednesday as they handled multiple fires as a strong thunderstorm rolled through in the late afternoon, sparking fires with every lightning strike. In one instance, BVFD firefighters left the scene only to return minutes later when it rekindled. Departments from Comanche, Early and surrounding areas eventually arrived to lend assistance. The fire spread southward, then the northerly winds quickly refueled the fire and turned it toward a nearby home. Once all responding departments arrived, they stationed engines at the intersection of CR 145 and Country Road 149, refueling brush trucks and sending them back into the field, which by now was charred grass and cacti. As the sun went down the departments got a handle on the flames and stopped it before it could damage any home or standing structure. With no injuries or damage resulting from the fire, Rogers considered it a great day and a great example of teamwork.
“A lot of times, we will call out other people just be looking at the smoke column,” Rogers said. “You’ll go to leave out look at the smoke column and think, man, that looks really big. Let’s get a whole lot of people out here. The wind may be blowing hard and it’s going to be really dry so it’s going to be a problem. It depends of which direction [the wind] shifts. If it shifts in the right direction, then it can help you out.”