Wind rekindles fire, sets hay bales ablaze

Wind rekindles fire, sets hay bales ablaze
Several bales of hay go up in smoke. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.

RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A grass fire burned a pasture and several bales of hay.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Monday, two volunteer fire departments responded to County Road 2135 D in Rusk County.

The fire started in a cow pasture and didn't take long to spread. Elderville-Lakeport Fire Chief Pat Owens said they were there as back up.

"We were called to assist Church Hill Fire Department on a pasture fire," Owens said.

The caretaker was feeding the cattle the day before and had burned some old hay in the pasture.

"He said he had set it yesterday. It was smoldering and the wind picked up," Owens stated.

The caretaker said he thought he had the fire extinguished. The day before the grass was wet and he said he had a hard time getting a fire to light.

It can take an undetermined amount of time for the grass to dry out.

"It just depends on how dry the grass is and after all the hard freezes we had the grass has really dried," Owens said.

And conditions changed in 24 hours.

"As the noon hour approaches then the humidity starts going down and the grass dries out," Owens explained.

Rusk County wasn't under a burn ban at the time, but the chief advises to take care when you burn so.

"You don't destroy anyone else's property or your property," Owens said.

Part of that is because you could be held liable.

But as for the five hay bales, "It's just going to have to burn itself out," Owens stated.

The caretaker was busy plowing a fire line with a tractor.

"We have a fire break around it so it should be good," Owens added.

The caretaker and firefighters agree it was fortunate the fire was stopped before it spread into the nearby woods.

Chief Owens advises to have something handy to put the fire out and to think about having fire breaks between the burn and any dried out vegetation.

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