Update: Fire burned more than 100 acres on Mustang Island
A grass fire that destroyed a disabled Port Aransas firefighting vehicle ended up burning more than 100 acres in a broad Mustang Island pasture before firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze Wednesday night, a fire official said.
No one was hurt, and no buildings were damaged, said John Luis, a captain with the Corpus Christi Fire Department. The flames never got close to any neighborhoods.
The fire burned within the Corpus Christi city limits, just outside of Port Aransas, but the Port Aransas Volunteer Fire Department responded to help. The Flour Bluff Volunteer Fire Department also responded.
Throwing up columns of smoke that could be seen for miles, the blaze burned for about six hours in an area just west of State Hwy. 361 and about a quarter mile north of Beach Access Road 2.
The blaze apparently started close to State Hwy. 361, Luis said. Firefighters aren’t sure how it began, but they believe likely culprits include a discarded cigarette or a parked vehicle backfiring on the side of the road, Luis said.
Flames got to within 100 yards of a one-story metal building about 3,000 square feet in size at one point, but firefighters beat the fire back, Luis said.
The fire first was reported at 2:19 p.m., and it wasn’t extinguished until after 8:45 p.m. The last fire truck left at 9:42 p.m., Luis said.
Fighting the fire was a slow-going process because there weren’t many hydrants close to the fire, Luis said. Trucks had to get water from hydrants a few hundred yards away and haul it in tanks to the flames.
More than 20 fire trucks responded to the blaze. One of them was an aging brush truck owned by the Port Aransas Volunteer Fire Department. The truck’s engine gave out, and firefighters had to abandon it as the flames closed in, according to Dave Parsons, deputy city manager.
The truck was a total loss, said PAVFD Dwight Kirkpatrick.