Mary Howard said she hopes her injured husband, Zephyr Volunteer Fire Chief David Howard, will be released from Parkland Memorial Hospital’s burn center as early as today.

David Howard, 46, sustained second degree burns on his arms and face while helping fight a large grass fire Sunday afternoon near Zephyr.

He was flown to the Dallas hospital Monday after being treated at Brownwood Regional Medical Center.

“He’s doing OK,” Mary Howard said by cell phone. “He’s gotten out of bed and walked a couple of times.”

She said her husband’s hands and arms are bandaged but he has been given morphine and is not in pain.

David Howard isn’t going to give up being a volunteer firefighter because of the injury, his wife said. He has been chief of the Zephyr department since 1992.

She said it will probably be several weeks before David can return to his paid job. She said he is a salesman for wholesale gun distributor L.M. Burney.

County officials said Howard’s medical bills will be covered by the county’s workers compensation insurance.

Brownwood Fire Marshal Buddy Preston said a hamburger supper benefit for the family will be held Dec. 15 at the Zephyr school cafeteria, beginning at 7 p.m.

Preston also said a fund has been established at the Mid-Tex Federal Credit Union to assist Howard, his wife and two children with medical, travel and Christmas expenses. The fund is called the David Howard Benefit, Preston said.

Howard was driving a brush truck at the head of the fire when the truck’s engine and pump quit at the same time, and the wind blew the fire back on him, Preston said earlier.

He said the fire had taken the oxygen away from the engine.

One other firefighter was on the truck Howard was driving, and he was not injured, Preston said.