Three first responders were injured in a Hood County grass fire on Wednesday.
Firefighters battled the blaze — hundreds of acres in size — in the 8300 block of Colony Road, just north of the City of Tolar. Every volunteer fire department in the county was working to subdue the blaze on August 3, as was the Texas A&M Forest Service.
Three Hood County firefighters on the scene were injured, officials said.
One, a Cresson volunteer firefighter, suffered burn injuries to 10% of his body and was airlifted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He was admitted with light burns and adverse effects from having inhaled smoke but was quickly given an “excellent” evaluation after treatment. He has since been released.
The other two injured firefighters suffered heat exhaustion and were treated on the scene.
One of the three fire trucks sent by the Cresson Volunteer Fire Department was consumed by the fire.
The fire was reportedly started by welders and blown out of control by the wind. Adam Turner of the Texas A&M Forest Service said welding was risky and could potentially start fires. He admitted this was hard to say because it’s someone’s livelihood. “It’s pretty hard to tell somebody, ‘Don’t go out and do your job.’”
The Tolar Volunteer Fire Department wrote on August 4 that the fire’s “forward progress” had been stopped, and crews would work through the night and into the next day to contain it.
Erin O’Conner, a spokesperson for the Texas A&M Forest Service, said conditions around the state “are so hot and dry that we just foresee experiencing this wildfire activity for the foreseeable future.”
Violating a burn ban is a class C misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.