The Blanco Volunteer Fire Department was called out to a grass fire off Rolling Hills Road in the afternoon of Thursday, January 31. Approximately four to five acres burned on land near the intersection of Dry Creek Run and Rolling Hills. Several brush trucks responded, including two from the Johnson City Fire Department.
The fire was caused by embers from a smoldering burn pile on the adjacent property, reported Lynn Hicks with the fire department. With the dry grass and high winds, the fire quickly advanced across the field, and was compared to an explosion by David Hiser. Fire crews quickly went to work as the winds caused the fire to jump across road and ignite grass on the Hiser property.
David and Todd Hiser assisted the fire department by throwing buckets of water on hot spots inside their fence line.
The recent run of dry weather this winter, along with the winds gusting to 40 or 50 miles per hour, has fed a number of fires recently. Blanco County is currently under a burn ban and the National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings as relative humidity levels are expected to dip into the single-digits in some regions of south central Texas.
“Be extremely cautious about any outdoor activities that might cause sparks or fires,” the NWS advises. “Sparks can easily escape from burning trash. Avoid use of welding or grinding equipment near weeds and grass. Avoid parking vehicles in tall, dry grass and weeds that could be ignited by hot catalytic converters. When in your vehicle, crush smoking materials in your ashtray and make sure they area really out.”
On Tuesday, firefighting crews from Blanco, Round Mountain, Spring Branch, and Wimberley responded to a fire off RR 165 and Lindeman Lane that quickly grew out of control and burned 50 to 70 acres, threatening several structures. The fire was contained around 6:45PM.