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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 3, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW FELS ci iiHNur HERALDZEI ru 20332 11009 70 SO WEST M1CROPU 1 SHING 2627 E YRNDELL DR 79903 Vol 148 No 73 18 pages in 2 sections March 3 1999 WEDNESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Fischer forced out by flames Blaze scorches acres BY CHRIS CREWS AND BILL OCONNELL Staff Writers than 100 firefighters from six counties battled wildfires TUesday that charred about acres of rugged ter rain in northern Comal County Fire crews scrambled to escape flames Tuesday afternoon as swirling winds pushed the fires through the hills and valleys near the HaysComal County line Firefighters reported flames up to 70 feet high It just blew up on us late this afternoon It was jumping way beyond what we could said Capt Darren Brinkkoeter of the Canyon Lake Area Vol unteer Fire Department A team of firefighters at one point smashed through a property owners fence to evade the blaze Briakkoeter said We hattto ram me to get out because we were unable to breathe any he said Area residents stood behind roadblocks for hours Tuesday awaiting word on whether they would be allowed to return home Fire authorities said they considered ordering an official evacuation of the Fis cher area but decided against it when informed by helicopter crews that no homes were threatened Id hate to lose my house but I under stand people come said Malibu Hart who was prevented by Comal County sher iffs deputies and state troopers from trav eling Fischer Store Road to get to her home on Peale Road No injuries were reported as a result of the fires which began Sunday and were rekindled Tuesday when strong winds ignit ed smoldering embers Temperatures in the low 90s and gusting winds made title fires particularly difficult to contain officials said Fire crews had to pay close attention to wind direction to avoid being outflanked by the blaze Youve just got to watch your back and make sure somethings not coming around behind you and going to cut you said Nprth Hays County Volunteer Fire Depart ment firefighter John Clanton Blackhawk helicopters assisted fire crews on the ground by collecting water from Canyon Lake and dropping it on the fires all day Tuesday Fire units filled tanker trucks with water from the Blanco River near the ffre scene Comal County Sheriffs Deputy Terry Roberts said If that water wasnt avail able theres no telling how far it would Bave HENRY BRUSH FIRE ROBIN Fischer resident Dixie Montgomery tells Radio Emergency Association Communication Team member Les Cantrell that her neighbor opted to stay home Some Fischer area residents were not allowed to return home Tuesflaf after noon because of danger posed by the brush fire Officials said about acres of land were burned in Comal and Hays counties More than 100 firefighters were called in representing departments from six counties Comal Bexar Blanco Guadalupe Hays and Kendall Inmates from the Comal County Sheriffs work program assisted along with a variety of law enforcement agen cies and the Texas Forest Service The fire was contained Monday but Tuesdays unseasonable tempera tures and high winds caused it to rekinidle Officials planned to stay on watch all nigHt to avoid another flareup One of three Army helicopters dis patched to the fire scene on Tuesday flies over a burned field The helicopters dropped water on the fires ROBIN HeraldZeitung ROBIN Johnson City firefighters battle one of the larger hot spots in a grove of trees Fire personnel from six area counties worked in Fischer on Tuesday Comal County Judge Danny Scheel said 12 additional offi cers from the Comal County Sheriffs Department had been sent to the fire scene to assist with any possible evacuations of residents We have Blackhawk helicopters at the scene and we have agencies from three or four counties surrounding Comal County helping out Were doing all that we can possibly he said Scheel said the American Red Cross had been notified in case residents were evacuated and a team of Comal County Jail inmates was assembled to assist with water operations at the scene Officials speculated an unauthorized controlled burn caused the grass fires Roberts said investigators had identified a possible starting point of the fire and would attempt to contact the property own er sometime today If a person were identified as causing a fire that crossed prop erty lines the only criminal charge he could face would be reck less damage and destruction of property Roberts said The Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not to exceed and a jail term not to exceed 180 days Roberts said observers would be at the fire scene through the end of the week looking for flareups More than 15 fire departments sent crews to combat the brush fires which reportedly began about Sunday The Texas National Guard was called in to assist in observing the area for fire activity Roberts said ready availability of water and help from local construction companies in bulldozing fire breaks played a huge role in limiting the scope of the fire He also praised Dean Word Company and Krause Construction for dispatching crews and equipment about midnight Sunday to create fire breaks he said On Monday Scheel ordered a burn ban for all unincorporated areas of Comal County Residents are prohibited from burning j combustible materials in uncovered containers County Engineer Tom Hornseth said the county had i secured two areas on private property for burning debris by 1 the contractor hired to clear the Guadalupe River channel No locations for public disposal of debris had been named he said ROBIN While most of the main fire was beaten back away from the Fischer bowling alley many hot spots remained Tuesday night Kingsbury leading Techs offense in spring drills KINQ8BURY pageSA The Red Raider offense will be led by a former Unicorn during spring practices Redshirt freshman Kliff Kingsbury assumed the team quarterback position after Rob Peters underwent thumb surgery For more on the story see Job expo appeals to students of all ages BY HEATHER Tooo Staff Writer A communitywide educational and job expo catered to both old and young alike Students professionals and individu als with disabilities came out in full force Tuesday for a career and community awareness fair at the New Braunfels Civic Center Sponsored by New Braunfels and City Inde pendent School Districts and Commu nities in Schools the expo featured more than 80 exhibitors with free information on social services posthigh school edu cational opportunities job training and career openings Students from Comal County middle schools and high schools were bused to the fair during class time to browse booths sponsored by postsecondary schools trade schools universities mil itary branches and local companies Martie Rodriguez director of special education for NBISD said stu dents were expected to walk through the expo from Marion Comal New Braun fels San Marcos and school districts Were looking for jobs for the sum said New BraunfelsMddle School student Lara WUson who was picking up applications at a South Texas Electrical booth with fellow student See INSIDE
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