Big Efforts Locally, Statewide with Fires; Volunteers Needed

Dozens of fires dotted the Texas landscape over the weekend, including in Brazos County, where firefighters were on the move to keep up with the flames.

While most of the fires were kept under control, one was a bit more trouble. A fire off Elmo Weedon Road east of Highway 6 ate up 145 acres of land starting Saturday and flaring up again Sunday.

While equipment isn't always the newest or the best quality, one volunteer fire chief says it is man-power that is the biggest need.

Brazos County Precinct 4 Chief Joe Ondrasek says there have been times his department and others have had to pass their calls to other departments who have to travel farther.

"We are at almost a critical shortage when it comes to staffing for volunteers," Ondrasek said. "Our department is not alone in that. All of the departments here in the county, as well as on the state, face shortfalls in staffing."

For contacts to some of the area's volunteer departments, click on the link below this story.

The Elmo Weedon fire was one of more than 30 blazes the College Station-based Texas Forest Service responded to since Friday. In all, those fires ate up nearly 8,000 of land, including 6,500 acres in the panhandle.

TFS officials say there were no losses of homes or lives with the fires they helped work with local first responders.

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