Smithville brush pit fire expected to smolder for days



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Posted on July 2, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 2 at 6:41 PM

SMITHVILLE, TX -- Crews are trying to keep a five-acre fire in Smithville from spreading, though it is contained at this point. 

A tree and brush landfill is smoldering, less than ten miles from where Bastrop burned two years ago.

The now smoky pile of brush is where people can discard their limbs, leaves  and trees. Firefighters got a call just after five Tuesday morning the the landfill was on fire. Smithville Fire Marshal Jack Page says it is 15 to 20 feet deep in some spots and could burn all the way down.

"We might have a spot fire that jumps up, that has burned underground, and it comes up somewhere else," said Page.

They're using bulldozers to push up all the brush in a pile, so if it does burn, it won't be as spread out.  They've also built a fire line around the site, a 15-20 foot area cleared down to bare dirt.

"We have a heavily-wooded line of trees on the north side of the fire. Our main concern with that is it just jumping our fire line," Page said.

They're also watching the wind. Page says the wind could pick up embers and blow them into dry areas. You can see smoke from several miles away. It was higher in the sky earlier in the morning. However, it's expected to smolder for a week or two.

The Texas Forest Service responded, along with the Bastrop Fire Department, and Smithville and  Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Departments -- the same firefighters who suffered heavy losses in the Bastrop fires two years ago.

All responders except Smithville have been released from the scene. Smithville will remain on scene overnight to keep watch. They will re-access in the morning.


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