LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Hockely County fire is 100% contained. The low humidity, dry grass, and strong winds have created an explosive combination. Fire fighters got a little relief today. Crews continue to have concerns and ask you to be aware and careful in these dangerous conditions.
"I've been here 25 years and we're never seen fire behavior like this before" says West Carlisle Fire Chief Tim Smith. West Carlisle Fire responded around 2:00 Friday afternoon to help the Levelland Fire Department contain the blaze. "With the winds yesterday and the humidity as low as it is, in the single digits, fire can move the length of a football field in about a minute" Smith explains. The crews were able to save several structures.
"We haven't had any significant rainfall since October and it's really dry out there, just waiting for an ignition source which it found yesterday in Hockley County" Smith says about the seemingly relentless drought. Surprisingly the hope for a little bit of rainfall in the forecast isn't exactly comforting. Smith explains that a storm with little precipitation along with lightening brings an entirely new fire danger.
Stopping Mother Nature from sparking flames is out of Smith's hands, but he says there are fires that can be prevented. "Chains dragging on trailer or pickup trucks, carelessly tossed cigarettes, a hot brake on a train, there's all kinds of things that can start them and sometimes it's just static electricity" Smith says and warms you to be cautious.
Investigators are still searching for what started the Hockley County fire, but it is 100% contained.
©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. Associated Press contributed to this report.