PALO PINTO COUNTY, Texas (KFDX/KJTL) — Residents of Possum Kingdom have been asked to evacuate voluntarily after wildfires began to burn along the west side of the lake Monday morning.
According to A&M Forest Services, Fire 1148 has claimed five homes and five other structures.
“I know some folks down on Arrowhead Lane were up on their roof yesterday dosing it with water to make sure any hot ashes didn’t fall on their home. They said they couldn’t even look up in the sky because ashes were falling on them” longtime Possum Kingdom resident John Morris said.
The fire is currently stable, but only 10% contained. Many responding agencies are on scene, and although scary, residents say it’s nothing compared to the fire of 2011.
Possum Kingdom Complex, which burned around this lake and around this area, it was about 126,000 acres it burned through most of that in about two days. It was very much a wind-driven fire. This fire is similar we did have concerns of we really don’t want to have a repeat of that fire with this one so we were pretty concerned about it,” Texas A&M Forest Service’s Public Information Officer Chris Turner said.
Community members are advised that evacuating by boat is the safest option in some instances, although all evacuations are voluntary at this time.
“If they evacuated, they were allowed to go to West Lake Chapel Church on FM 1148 and Chapel Road. They had provisions there if people needed a place to go, sleep, or bathe or whatever,” Morris said.
Hot, dry, and windy weather conditions also play a role in the spread of the fire.
“90% of wildfires in Texas are caused by humans. So residents taking care to follow burn bans, making sure that stuff isn’t getting dragged along the road, or there are any blown tires, trying to keep things from starting is the best thing we can do to help,” Turner said.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown but crews are working to restore power in areas that may have been affected by outages.
Firefighters are advising everyone to stay away from active fires.