Several Ellis County fire departments are reporting fire and property damage as a result of high winds Tuesday.
The Ennis Fire Department answered calls within the city limits as well as to locations to the north and south.
“We were called to a house fire near Alma, which was a total loss and several power lines were blown down, one of which caused a grass fire southeast of Ennis on Farm-to-Market 85, between Alma and Telico,” Capt. Gary Cochran.
Cochran also reported that a roof was blown off of a trailer house on Anthony Drive near the old hospital facility and another power line was blown down in the area near Baldridge, Moore and Alexander streets.
Deputy Chief Tom Montgomery of the Midlothian Fire Department said his department received no fire calls, but reported the Ovilla Fire Department made several calls.
Ovilla Lt. Wes McGuyer said his department received four calls Tuesday, including three smoke investigation calls on Cockrell Hill, Hidden Valley and Lariat Trail roads. The smoke was a result of fires in the Fort Worth area, he said, noting the fourth call was a mutual aid assist, along with the Glenn Heights Fire Department, to the Red Oak Fire Department on a grass fire.
The Red Oak Fire Department was dispatched at 2:21 p.m. to the northbound service road of Interstate 35E, just north of Farm-to-Market 664/Ovilla Road on a grass fire.
With high winds fueling the fire, which was in a field of about 10 acres, Red Oak Fire Chief Eric Thompson requested brush truck mutual-aid from the Ovilla and Lancaster fire departments to assist Red Oak’s brush trucks and engines. Engine support also was received from Waxahachie to bring the fire under control and extinguish it by 4 p.m., when the fire command was terminated.
Conditions are still highly favorable for these type of fires to continue, Thompson said, noting a burn ban is still in effect.
Waxahachie Fire Chief David Hudgins expressed relief there were no fires in the Waxahachie area to respond to during Tuesday’s high winds.
“We did assist Red Oak in a large grass fire on I-35, but around here we only had a couple of calls concerning downed trees and wires,” Hudgins said, noting one call at 202 Ennis St., in which a tree fell into some wires causing sparks and cutting power in the area.
“We also got a call at about 2:45 p.m. to 102 Breezeway, where wind gusts were blowing tree limbs into high lines, causing some arcing,” Hudgins said.
“I credit the people of Ellis County for using common sense in not burning or apparently not throwing out cigarettes,” Hudgins said. “We have had a lot of moisture lately, but these winds will dry the ground out quick as a lamb’s tail.”
Daily Light correspondent Gary Puckett contributed to this report.