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Gate 5, Buffalo Creek, Game Ranch fires burn thousands of acres across Concho Valley 

Credit:  Wildfires burn thousands of acres across concho valley in west texas | Colin Murphey | San Angelo Standard-Times | Jul. 17, 2020 | www.gosanangelo.com ~~

BRADY – Multiple wildfires have scorched thousands of acres across the Concho Valley in the past three days fueled by dry brush and temperatures reaching above 100 degrees.

The Game Ranch Fire has burned over 3,000 acres north of San Angelo and is at 90% containment. The Buffalo Creek Fire burned over 3,500 acres south of Brownwood before being brought under control by firefighters.

The largest, the Gate 5 Fire burning north of Brady, has torched over 10,000 acres and was at 30% containment Friday afternoon. Multiple aerial assets including air tankers and helicopters were aiding ground resources in keeping the fire under control in extremely dangerous weather conditions.

Robyn Griffith with the Texas A&M Forest Service said while resources are stretched thin due to multiple fires burning in the area, firefighters are expecting to maintain control of the Gate 5 Fire despite conditions on the ground.

“As the day heats up, the fire activity is going to pick up as well,” Griffith said. “We do have multiple aerial resources that are assisting with water drops and retardant drops. We also have a couple strike teams with engines that have come in today that will assist with patrolling containment line that the dozers have put in and with hotspots that are close to the perimeter.”

Griffith said the fires were fueled by dry brush and several days of extremely hot temperatures. According to Griffith, the hot, dry weather also makes the work of fighting the fire more hazardous than usual.

“We are going into a drying trend so everything is really drying out,” Griffith said. “We’ve had multiple days in a row of triple digits and low humidities. So the fuels in the area have really dried out. We have a lot of grassy fields that burn really quick and the heavier fuels like the trees have dried out and become a hazard fuel as well. It is very hot and difficult to work in these conditions. Everyone watches each other and we stay hydrated. We make sure we are healthy and we train in this kind of weather to be able to fight fire in this weather.”

Source:  Wildfires burn thousands of acres across concho valley in west texas | Colin Murphey | San Angelo Standard-Times | Jul. 17, 2020 | www.gosanangelo.com

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