Bush still burning: Two days after West Houston wildfire began, it's "undercontrol" but not out
The large wildfire in George Bush Park that started Tuesday afternoon is "well under control" according to a Houston Fire Department spokesperson, but parts of the fire are still burning two days later. The Texas Forest Service and HFD personnel are still on site, keeping any lingering fire in check.
Right now, there are two Texas Forest Service bulldozers and seven HFD boosters (water-spraying vehicles) in George Bush Park. That's a far cry from the 50 pieces of firefighting equipment, the four bulldozers and the 175 firefighters that were on the scene at the height of the wildfire Tuesday night. In a just-released update, an HFD official says that the fire has been contained to 1,500 acres in the park.
With how rapidly wildfires have spread during this great drought summer of 2011, losing "only" 1,500 acres is a significant victory.
With how rapidly wildfires have spread during this great drought summer of 2011, losing "only" 1,500 acres is a significant victory. The Houston Fire Department's new update on the Bush wildfire — issued Thursday afternoon, long after most people in Houston had moved on from the story — underscores the price in man hours it takes to secure those victories though. Attentions may have turned elsewhere, but firefighters remain on the scene, working on a fire that's not out yet.
Indications are that the Bush wildfire started near the road on the 16700 block of Westheimer Parkway, before roaring quickly through the dry, brittle grass of the park. Firefighters are working to isolate the remaining parts of the fire by making sure everything within 300 feet of the dozer lines is extinguished. A dozer line is a path scraped free of vegetation and brush by a fire department dozer vehicles. These lines cut off a fire and help give firefighters more manageable smaller blazes to handle.
The Bush wildfire may not be completely out, but HFD officials did meet their vow that no one would have to evacuate their home due to this West Houston blaze. At the height of the wildfire, the plumes of smoke could be seen as far away as the Galleria area.