BUFFALO GAP, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- With nearly 30 homes lost to the Mesquite Heat fire, fire departments near and far are doing all they can to fight the destruction. Unfortunately, as hot spots continue to flare up and spread, it’s anyone’s guess as to when the fight could end.
“It’s starting to flare up some, with the wind picking up, and we’ve got a dry line coming in, so we don’t know what all’s going to happen next,” Buffalo Gap Fire Captain Billy Mack Swanzy said.
Swanzy told KTAB/KRBC he and his department are grateful for the outside departments driving in to lend a hand. But with the flames spreading each day, there are no days off for anyone involved.
“They’re getting exhausted, but we’re not going to give up,” Capt. Swanzy said. “Some of them are 20-hour shifts, but were still here. They’ll take off for 6 to 10 hours and come back again.”
Since the fire began, the Buffalo Gap Fire Department has gone through three tires on their brush trucks, navigating the rough Texas terrain.
“When they come through with bulldozers, sometimes we find a cedar root or flint and it’s just not good for those tires,” Capt. Swanzy explained.
Resident Keith Ethridge does not work for the department, but when he heard they were in need he didn’t hesitate to lend a hand and a trailer.
“He informed me he needed tires swapped out on a bunch of blowouts, so I took care of that for him,” Ethridge told KTAB/KRBC.
Hoping to give the department one less thing to worry about as they stare down another sleepless night.
“Just depending on the weather and the heat, and the wind… probably two to five more days – no idea,” Captain Swanzy advised. “It’s going to be a while.”
First responders’ greatest need at the moment, according to Capt. Swanzy, is money to keep gas in their vehicles and air in tires. Donations can be made by clicking here or texting a dollar amount to (325) 221-4004.