More than 250 personnel are in Fort Davis this week to assist with the Scenic Loop Complex.
The name refers to 7 individual fires — sparked by a lightning storm June 3 — that are burning near then northern part of Highway 166. Fire officials say the fires are not currently threatening any subdivisions, like the Crow’s Nest or the Davis Mountains Resort.
By Thursday, fire officials say the Scenic Loop Complex had affected approximately 9,700 acres. The overall containment for the 7 individual fires is 25 percent. This isn’t the first fire of the season. In early May a lightning strike ignited the McDannald Ranch fire, which spread across 21,000 acres in Jeff Davis County and took nearly 2 weeks to be fully contained.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the individual fires’ footprints and their containment (as of Friday morning).
48 Tank – 1,000 acres, 35 percent contained
Bear Mountain – 3,000 acres, 40 percent contained
Brooks – 150 acres, 75 percent contained
Jones/Phillips – 1,600 acres, 90 percent contained
Long X2 – 3,000 acres, 20 percent contained
Rincon – 11.4 acres, 90 percent contained
Windmill – 1,000 acres, 20 percent contained
Both the 48 Tank and Windmill fires are currently burning through the Nature Conservancy. By Friday the two fires had connected. This area remains a priority for response crews, who have set up camp in the conservancy.
Terry Krasko is with the Blue Team, a federal response group. He says the acreage affected may grow, not because the fire is spreading, but because they response team will have completed mapping the Scenic Loop Complex’s range.
Among other response tools, crews have been making use of 4 single engine air tankers (SEATs). Krasko says these units can go into “extremely small places” where bigger tankers aren’t able to reach.
Night time operations are in place to help control the fire.
We’ll continue to provide you with updates on the Scenic Loop Complex as they become available.