Fire Department News
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“The issue is, we don’t want to use drinking water to fight fires,” said County Judge David Nicklas.
Low water supplies have prompted all water providers in the county to impose water restrictions at some level.
The order prohibits the burning of brush/tree piles when clearing land, trash, yard debris or any other activities not specified as permitted. In addition, the order prohibits the use and launching of sky lanterns and any form of aerial luminaries.
The order does not prohibit outdoor burning activities when used solely for recreational and noncommercial preparation of food or exclusively as a means to provide warmth in cold weather (e.g.: campfires and cooking fires) and outdoor cooking on gas fired or charcoal grills.
Outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety that are authorized by the Texas Natural Resources Commission for fire-fighting training; public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; planting or harvesting of agricultural crops; or burns that are conducted by a certified prescribed burn manager are not affected.
A violation is a Class “C” misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
The Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher toned out Graford VFD between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. with a report of a lightning strike along Turpin Road about two miles north of Graford. Flames were on the ground and Graford Fire Chief Alton Reed requested mutual aid from PK East VFD — a tanker for additional water.
Some 30 minutes later, the dispatcher again toned Graford VFD with a report of another lightning strike on a tank battery, this one south of Graford along Ragle Road. Reed asked dispatch to call the Mineral Wells VFD. Before PK East arrived at the Turpin fire, Reed notified them that the fire was under control and asked PK East units to respond to the Ragle Road fire.
Upon arrival three of four tanks were on fire. The fourth, a metal tank, was in danger. Firefighters began cooling the metal tank while a plan of attack was formulated. Graford, Mineral Wells and PK East firefighters used foam to help contain the flames while keeping oil from spreading to other areas. Reed said one tank was destroyed at the Turpin Road fire when it exploded. That spread oil across the ground. “We saved three tanks,” he said.
Inspectors from both the Texas Railroad Commission and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality checked the sites. Monday, Precinct 2 Commissioner Louis Ragle said the RRC inspectors were very satisfied with steps taken to clean up the Ragle Road site. TCEQ inspectors took air samples and reported test results would be available in about six weeks. Three tanks were destroyed at the Ragle Road fire, no injuries were reported.