UPS driver makes initial attack on wildfire
A UPS driver in South Walton, Florida, discovered a wildfire threatening some structures and took time away from his busy schedule to grab a garden hose. According to Bill Shultz who lived across the street, the driver, identified as Arthur Huels, called 911 and took action that kept the fire from destroying any houses. Here is an excerpt from the Walton Sun:
On the afternoon of Friday, March 4, Bill Shultz went to take his daughter’s dogs on a walk like he does everyday.
He saw a UPS truck parked outside the neighbor’s house, but that was “ordinary enough.” However, when the truck was still sitting there 20 minutes later, he knew something wasn’t right.
“Normally they are in and out in a hurry,” Shultz said. “Then I saw all the smoke coming out from behind the house.”
Shultz put the dogs in his car and quickly headed off across the street to see the cause of the smoke.
“The fire was right up very close to the house,” he told The Sun. “And there was the UPS driver battling down the flames with a garden hose.”
At approximately 2:20 p.m., firefighters from South Walton received a call about a fire in the Point Washington area according to Mike Morrison, public information officer for the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.
The UPS driver, later identified as Arthur Huels, called emergency responders when he came across the wildfire while on his daily delivery route.
Shultz and the UPS driver fought back the large brush fire with garden hoses until firefighters responded.
“And then he jumped back in his truck and finished his route,” Shultz said. “If that guy hadn’t stopped and done what he did, I don’t know what would have happened.”
Two arrested for stealing from wildfire victim’s home
From KFDA in Amarillo, Texas:
Two suspected thieves are behind bars following an alleged aggravated assault against a victim of the recent wildfires.
According to the sheriff, 48-year-old Martin Rodriguez- Flores and his son, a minor, attempted to run over a victim with their vehicle. Investigators say it happened after the victim approached them while they were attempting to haul off some of his burned property on Sanford Street. Authorities report finding a stolen ATV and lawn mower in the two suspects’ possession.
Rodriguez is in the Potter County jail. His son, is in the Youth Center of the High Plains. The two suspects face aggravated assault charges.
Potter county Sheriff Brian Thomas tells NewsChannel 10, he is infuriated people would attempt steal from victims of the recent wildfires.
This video has more information:
Dust devil causes prescribed fire on private land in Texas to escape, over 8,000 acres burn
From the Alpine Avalanche:
It took 70 to 80 local, state, national and international firefighters, tanker trucks, massive helicopters, two SEATs (small engine attack tanker airplanes) and lots of bravery and hard work for four days – but they defeated the Brewster County fire that consumed 8,225 acres of ranchland last week.
And although a few dozen homes, barns and outbuildings at times were threatened by flames, not one was reported burned down nor were any lives lost, Brewster County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Santry said Tuesday.
Santry said the fire boss and crew had cleared fire breaks (a gap in vegetation designed to slow a fire’s progress) and were burning some of the brush, keeping an eye on the flames and the wind.
But a dust devil popped up behind the fire crew, hit the burning brush pile and carried embers to nearby grass and brush, all of it brittle-dry.
“You can’t predict that,” Santry said of the dust devil. “They’ll pop up out of nowhere.”
He said heat from blazes can also create what’s called a fire devil or fire tornado, a kind of whirlwind of flames.
In this case, although the ranch’s fire crew had taken all precautions to conduct a prescribed burn, Santry said they couldn’t control the freak dust devil. When the flames started eating more dried-out vegetation, the fire boss immediately called the Alpine Volunteer Fire Department.