ABILENE – The devastating Mesquite Heat wildfire south of Abilene is now 74% contained according to information released Thursday by the Lone Star State Incident Management Team of the Texas Forest Service.
In a social media post, the TFS related that containment of the Mesquite Heat Fire increased to 74 percent thanks to ongoing firefighter efforts. Night operations patrolled the area again last night with no concerns. That was the final night shift for this fire unless the situation changes significantly. Firefighters put water on debris piles that were exhibiting some smoke yesterday. They also continued to extend containment lines.
Fuels are starting to dry out and are expected to continue that trend as hot, dry weather moves into the area. Crews flew an unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) equipped with an infrared camera over the southern section of the fire yesterday and did not find any significant hotspots.
Today, firefighters will continue to patrol the fire, ensuring the containment lines are cold and holding. Some debris piles will continue to smoke, and a rare juniper may flare up, but no fire spread is anticipated. Crews are preparing for the incoming weather by widening containment lines to up to a chain (66 feet) wide and patrolling for and extinguishing hotspots in preparation for this weekend’s weather.