Strong winds complicate firefighting in Matagorda County

Jan. 10, 2017 at 10:48 p.m.
Updated Jan. 11, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Powerful winds made battling a Matagorda County grass fire a tricky affair for volunteer fire departments Tuesday.

"(The wind) was very strong - especially when the gusts blew in," said Curtis Mooneyham, assistant fire chief for the Tres Palacios Oaks Volunteer fire department. "You could have a portion of it out, and when it gusted, that same area would be on fire again."

Near Bay City, sustained wind speeds topped at 23 mph about 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Gusts reached speeds of 30 mph about 10:30 a.m.

Tres Palacios Oaks volunteers received help from at least 10 other departments after arriving after 11 a.m. at the fire near Farm-to-Market Roads 616 and 1862. Although about 5 acres of scrubby ranchland burned, no people, structures or pieces of equipment were threatened, he said.

The fire was likely sparked from burning brush piles, he said.



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