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Much as Shakespeare’s King Henry V rallied his troops again to assail Harfleur, a local volunteer firefighter marches into the swirling smoke of battle across a hayfield that was being consumed by a fast-moving wildfire over two days last week. Emergency responders were initially dispatched at around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, to the site along East Hwy 85 in Frio County and succeeded in containing the blaze over a five-hour period but were again dispatched at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 6, when the fire reignited and required nearly five more hours of work to extinguish. Among the volunteer and county fire services assisting the Dilley VFD were those from Pearsall, Moore, Bigfoot, Charlotte, Jourdanton and La Salle. An investigation continues into the likely cause of the fire, which remains undetermined. Both Frio and La Salle county governments have signed renewals of their burn bans, which will last until at least September and prohibit all outdoor burning, including pit fires and uncovered trash barrels. The only exceptions to the bans are those allowed by a certified prescribed-burn manager for agricultural purposes. Fire services are urging all farmers and ranchers to exercise extreme caution when welding fences or outdoor fixtures, and reminding all motorists not to park vehicles over tall or dry grass that may be ignited by heated engines or exhausts.
(Photo courtesy of Arnulfo Gonzalez)