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No structures burned; unlicensed tires fuel fire

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JIM WILLIAMS
Ellis County Press

ENNIS - Although structures were threatened, reportedly none were burned in the huge grass fire Wednesday afternoon, July 26 east of the Lake Bardwell Dam.

The fire nearly reached a mobile home park in area west of Ensign Road, off Observation Road.

Ennis Fire Chief David Hopkins said a bulldozer, provided by Ellis County Commissioner Jerry Holland at the Ellis County Pct. 2 Barn in Ennis, was used to make a fire break.

An unlicensed tire dump, including other trash, provided fuel for the blaze, which sent up smoke to be seen for miles.

However, fire department vehicles, particularly the larger trucks didn't have easy access to the fire scene, which was technically outside of the Ennis Fire Department's official range.

Departments responding the blaze included Ennis, Bristol, Palmer, Garrett, Avalon, Central High, Alma, Forreston and Waxahachie Rural.

Due to the unlicensed tire dump and its emissions of toxins from the fire, Hopkins said Danny Woodruff, emergency management coordinator for Ellis County, should contact the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

Tabernacle Baptist Church in Ennis was a sanctuary for persons leaving their mobile homes near the fire.

Red Cross volunteers served water and food to firefighters.

Hopkins reported four firefighters were treated for problems stemming from the heat.

The fire took four hours to be controlled.

The Ennis fire chief said the lack of strong winds was a plus for their fire fighting efforts.

Central High firefighters stayed over night as a precaution in the event hot spots might flare up.

Members of the Army Corps of Engineers first reported the fire.

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