Fire Stoppers Festival returns to Edinburg
Investigators have not yet determined what sparked a huge brush fire in Starr County earlier this week.
The fire prompted evacuations and destroyed several homes and vehicles. No injuries were reported.
Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider says less-than-ideal weather conditions made the fire in La Gloria a difficult fight as wind pushed it toward San Isidro.
READ ALSO: Officials: La Gloria fire 'mostly' contained
“You literally could draw a line with a ruler on a map and it was heading right towards that community,” Snider said.
A spokesperson for the Texas A&M Forest Service says the blaze was 100 percent contained Thursday afternoon.
Conditions like low humidity, high winds and overall high temperatures, combined with tall grass, led to a response of 105 Valley firefighters. While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, Snider expects it to be a continuing pattern all the way through spring.
“We had copious amounts of rain this past year and the year before, and that allowed the grass to grow up in ranch lands very high, so that’s the reason why this has become exponentially a severe threat in our area,” Snider said.
Snider adds that the two homes that were lost to the fire were close to tall grass, something that may have been prevented with a proper 500 feet barrier. Snider says that’s just one of the many fire safety tips he and others within the department will be offering Saturday at H-E-B Park.
The event will have several opportunities for food and fun, but Snider says it’s his hope that families will be able to take home knowledge when it comes to fire prevention.
“We hope that that opportunity to meet and greet brings you a little bit closer to making sure that you have a safe home and having an escape plan and a smoke detector that’s working and ready to go at your home,” Snider said.
The event was not able to happen in the past year as a result of the pandemic, but the fire stoppers festival’s return will give the public the opportunity to once-again meet with the city’s first-responders.
“People see fire trucks going down the street. They might see them at a fire scene, but they never get to get close to them. This is a chance to go up there — right up in front and meet the firefighters, see the equipment and actually understand what it’s all about,” Snider said.
The event will start Saturday with the city's fire prevention caravan from 3-4 p.m. at H-E-B Park in Edinburg. The Fire Stoppers Festival will officially start at 5 p.m. and run through 11:30 p.m.
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