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Fires heat up hot weekend

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071422 trinity firesWinds whipped a grass fire on FM 3188 on Thursday. Courtesy photo

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — Trinity firefighters responded to eight fire calls over the weekend, including four calls on Friday in 100-degree-plus weather, and the department asks all county residents to please not burn under any circumstances.

A burn ban exists in the county, and dry conditions make any fire hazardous.

Assistant Fire Chief Keith Johnson said that at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, a transformer exploded on FM 356 at White Rock Acres.

Firefighters found two high-power transmission lines from Entergy broken and draped over lines belonging to Sam Houston Electric Co-op; the event started a four-acre fire in the nearby woods.

Trinity Volunteer Fire Department responded with five trucks and 19 firefighters and called for mutual aid from 356 VFD, which responded with four trucks and 10 firefighters. Texas Forest Service responded with a bulldozer to establish a fire line.

Johnson said the fire was contained in approximately an hour and units stayed on scene until 3 a.m. putting out hot spots. Entergy and SHECO responded with line crews to shut off power and make repairs.

No injuries were reported and no structures were damaged.

Johnson said that another fire broke out at around 2 p.m. Saturday behind Heath and Human Services building on Highway 19 South.

This fire damaged the back wall of a barn and endangered the DHS office and a vacant home next door. The VFD responded with five trucks and 14 firefighters and quickly extinguished the fire before it could extend into other structures.

On Thursday at about 4:15 p.m., approximately 75 acres on FM 3188 erupted in multiple grass fires on Hwy 94 and FM 3188.

Johnson said two brush trucks, two tankers and one engine along with 18 firefighters responded.

A southwest wind pushed several grass fires into wooded areas on the Glendale Hunting Club, and help from Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, 356 VFD and Groveton VFD arrived, and assisted with brush trucks, tankers and firefighters.

Texas Forest Service also responded with three bulldozers and manpower as well as a spotter plane.
The fire was 95 percent contained around 10:40 p.m.

Johnson said no structures were damaged and no injuries were reported.

On Monday at about 12:53 p.m., Trinity firefighters were dispatched to a grass fire at Trinity Plantation. Three trucks and 15 firefighters responded and extinguished the fire in less than 10 minutes.

Johnson said the fire possibly was caused by a tractor cutting grass.  

071422 trinity fires twoThe fire on FM 356 reignited Sunday after a dead tree limb that had been smoldering dropped and fell across the fire line. A grass fire started Monday near Trinity Plantation. Bulldozers from the Texas Forest Service create a fire line.

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