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Boykin Road fire contained, officials say

June 22, 2011

A wildfire that scorched 6,000 acres south of Big Spring and kept firefighting crews from across West Texas busy for the past two days is now contained, officials said. (HERALD photo/Steve Reagan/Aerial service for photo provided by Bob Price)

A wildfire south of Big Spring that burned thousands of acres and destroyed two homes over the course of two days has been contained, firefighters said.

Exhausted crews were keeping watch over isolated “hot spots” this morning to avoid flare-ups of the fire, which burned up to 6,000 acres of land in an area roughly stretching from South Mountain to the Silver Heels subdivision, said Tommy Sullivan, chief of the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department.

“Not all of it is out, but we do have it contained,” Sullivan said.
The fire flared up Tuesday in an isolated stretch of land southeast of Big Spring that truck crews could not reach, but helicopters and other air assets from the Texas Forestry Service brought that trouble spot back under control.

In addition to Big Spring and Howard County firefighters, crews from the Forestry Service and several West Texas counties were called in to fight the blaze, which threatened more than 50 homes in the Silver Heels/Driver Road vicinity.

A downed power line is being blamed as the cause of the fire, which erupted Monday near Boykin Road. Two homes were lost to the blaze, but no serious injuries were reported. Sullivan said some of his firefighters suffered first-degree burns — “more like a bad sunburn than anything else” — during the two-day battle.

Sullivan said a major concern for his crews, who have been on the go for almost 48 straight hours, is to now get some rest.

“We're all very tired right now,” he said wearily.

Weary crews received a helping hand from local civic and service organizations, which provided firefighters with water, food and cots during their breaks from fighting the fire.

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