Images from the fires and their impacts in and around Fort Davis and Alpine, Texas

Live fire burning along west side of HWY 118, south of Fort Davis, just across from rest area with large cottonwoods. Monday evening, 7:30 pm, April 11.

Firefighters monitored the blaze along HWY 118, south of Fort Davis, Monday evening, April 11. HWY 118 between Fort Davis and Alpine has been closed intermittently since Saturday depending on the evershifting winds and ensuing danger from fire activity. For current road information, call TxDOT: (800) 452-9292.

Line of fire along HWY 118 south of Fort Davis, Monday evening @ 7:30 pm.

A yucca burning next to HWY 118.

Approaching the line of fire on HWY 118 south of Fort Davis. As of Monday evening, April 11, this edge of the Rock House Fire was on the west side of the road, across from the rest area.

Cattle across the road from the entrance to the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, south of Fort Davis, grazed patches of grass spared by the fire, with charred ground and hills and smoke behind them.

View heading south along HWY south of Fort Davis, Monday evening, with the tip of Mitre Peak visible in background.

Burned house along Front Street, on the southwest side of Fort Davis, as seen Monday evening, April 11. Inside the ruins of the house, charred fuel still smoldered, and this adobe wall against which I leaned to take the photograph was still extremely hot. Surprisingly, the house just next door to this one, a few feet away from the backside of this image, appeared unscathed by fire or smoke.

The fire apparently swept through Chihuahuito Creek, on the west side of Fort Davis.

Another structure on the west side of Fort Davis burned to the ground.

View looking towards the center of town from the south side, Monday evening.

View on the south side of Fort Davis, looking east. Most of the surrounding hills are charred black.

Red Cross volunteers from Terlingua Bonnie Hill, Judy Eron, and Charlie Watkins headed towards the Fort Davis Fire Department building for shift change and food.All three shared tales of heartbreak from Fort Davis residents forced to evacuate their homes so quickly Saturday afternoon that they had no time to grab precious belongings; in some cases, residents’ homes burned and all that was inside was lost, including some beloved pets. The volunteers were, however, also very heartened to see the outpouring of support amongst friends, neighbors, families, and from surrounding communities, including food and water (below) donated by hundreds.

Volunteers from Terlingua Fire & EMS took a break for dinner Monday night, at the Fort Davis Fire Department, after fighting fire for over two days.

ABOVE: Monday evening, April 11, Rock House Fire Public Information Office Jim Fowler (left) answered questions about the fire for Gazette Publisher John Waters. At the time, the causes of the Rock House fire, which started in Marfa and swept through and beyond Fort Davis, and the Roper Fire, east and northeast of Alpine, had not yet been identified.

Volunteers from Fort Davis and surrounding communities (right and center) donated time, energy, and food for fire crews and other support staff.

On Monday, April 11, around 5:15 pm, Gazette Publisher John Waters (left) spoke with Gov. Rick Perry’s wife (center), while Jeff Davis County Commissioner Larry Francell (second from left) and rep. Pete Gallego (center right) and firefighters on break stood by. Texas First Lady Anita Perry told the Gazette, “I’m sorry you’ve had all this destruction and burning. I know the area and enjoy visiting friends in Alpine. I have to congratulate everybody on all the great work that is being done here.”

Public Information Officer Jim Fowler (left) got ready to turn over his duties– and pertinent, up-to-date information– to Oscar Maestas.

The Roper Fire, which also started the afternoon of Saturday, April 9, reportedly at the Sul Ross State University roping arena on the east side of town, burned a large area east and northeast of Alpine, including this stretch east of Alpine, along the north side of HWY 90, as seen the morning of Monday, April 11. Note Twin Peaks and smoke from the Rock House Fire in background.

More evidence of the Roper Fire (above and below), as seen on the west side of Route 67, just north of the intersection with HWY 90. Note charred hillsides in background on right.

View of Roper Fire damage, looking northwest from Route 67 a few miles north of the intersection with HWY 90.

View of Roper Fire impact just east of Alpine, north of HWY 90.

View of fire from the Roper Fire, east of Alpine, on Sunday morning, April 10, as seen from HWY 118 a few miles south of Alpine.

 

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