Fire crews in Garza County battling flare ups, fatigue - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Fire crews in Garza County battling flare ups, fatigue

GARZA COUNTY, TX (KCBD) -

More flames erupted near the Crosby-Garza County line Tuesday night after crews spent days dousing flames there.

Authorities say another fire burning in Crosby County is threatening one home. The fires are taking a toll on those battling the blazes.

Crews are back on scene, but firefighters and their equipment are exhausted after working overtime through the weekend.

"It's just been long; they've all run together. For a fact, its been a lot of hours, a lot of smoke, a lot of dirt and not much sleep," said Garza County Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Isbell.

"I've almost lost track of what day it is," said Post Fire Chief Les Looney.

After working three days to contain fires that destroyed more than 50,000 acres, firefighters and officials hoped to have everything back to normal Tuesday.

"The Texas Forest Service ground guys actually pulled out about 11:30 to midnight last night and were calling it good," Isbell said.

All was clear Tuesday with the exception of a few areas that were still smoldering. The smoke could remain for days, according to officials.

"We're still trying to catch our breath right now and get all of our trucks back up and running," Looney said.

Workers at Thompson's Wrecker Service in Post were busy keeping trucks and water tankers running after the elements took a toll on the equipment.

"Every vehicle that we've had out there had some damage done to it," said Looney.

"We've had head gaskets blown on [engine] 21 here. We've had belts broken here and radiators busted," Thompson said.

While repairs are being done to get crews ready for more fire danger at the end of this week, arson investigators are busy trying to determine if the fires were set intentionally.

"We have a lot of people who are on edge about it. It's understandable, knowing we may have somebody running around and starting these things like this," Looney told us.  

The Garza County Sheriff's Department says a dark colored pickup was spotted near multiple suspicious fires, including one very close to the city of Post. They say they have questioned a person of interest, but that no arrests have been made. The Texas Rangers and Texas Forest Service are also investigating.

Community members in Post are planning a fundraiser for the fire department. Dates and times have not been finalized.

If you saw anything out of the ordinary that may help authorities, you are encouraged to call the Garza County Sheriff's Department at 806-495-3595.

©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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