About 200 Acres Burn In Kendall County One Home Burned Out Near Fredericksburg
By Charles Gonzalez | KSAT.com
POSTED: Monday, August 24, 2009 UPDATED: 10:44 pm CDT August 24, 2009
KENDALL COUNTY, Texas — Officials were trying to determine what sparked a fire in a rural Fredericksburg community that burned over 150 acres, destroying a home and dozens of sheds, barns and other outbuildings in the Alamo Springs neighborhood. “I got a call,” said Tammy Condra, a resident whose home was spared. “I was in town and somebody said there’s a fire up in Alamo Springs, and I came up as soon as I could and I couldn’t even get to my street.”
Her home, built of stone, withstood whatever the fire offered, but down the ravine, her neighbor was not as fortunate. “My neighbor’s house is a log cabin and it burned to the ground,” said Condra. That home belonged to the pastor of the Alamo Springs Christian Fellowship. He bought the home from David Mesch, a fellow resident who built the log cabin almost three years ago. “It really breaks my heart,” said Mesch. “They really loved that house. It was the first house they ever owned.”
“It’s so dry now, you just almost think fire and this grass is so dry, it’ll burn,” said Kendall County Fire Marshal Jeff Fincke. Crews from several neighboring fire departments, including Army Blackhawk helicopters dropping water from above, pitched in to fight the fire for nearly three hours. The Texas Forest Service also brought in heavy equipment to create a perimeter around the blaze to prevent if from spreading further.
“It’s pretty rough country out here, very brushy,” said Fincke. “A lot of cedar undergrowth, so sometimes you’ve just gotta let the fire burn to where you can fight it because it’s too rough to fight it.” The lack of water also presented a major obstacle in fighting the fire. “It is so, so dry,” said Mesch. “There’s been a lot of rain around us in the Comfort area, Fredericksburg area, but for some reason or another, on this hill, we just haven’t gotten it in a long time.” Officials were trying to confirm early reports that a spark or slag from a welder’s torch initiated the blaze.
NOTE: Fire started behind 111 Hope St.
From ASVFD Chief Miller
” Most likely dry lightening from last Sat night was the cause. The County Fire Marshal theorized that it struck a tall tree and smoldered for a day and a half until afternoon on Monday when it fell or dropped a burning branch.
Monday was very busy. Men, women and equipment from 8 area VFDs, TX forest service provided fixed wing retardant aircraft, helos to drop water, a spotter plane, 6 bulldozers and TX forest service wild land personnel and Blackhawk helos from Air National Guard out of SA. The Fire Marshal called it contained about 10 PM, I think.
But on Tuesday, we had a brush truck along with a Comfort brush truck and tender [tanker truck] out mopping hot spots. We did that alone yesterday and today. Some of those big old trees with rotten heartwood will smolder for days and even weeks. I’ve got quite a few on my place that are doing so. But they are not threat because if they ignite and burn, they are in blackened areas where the fire cannot spread”.