Nearby Residents Voice Concern Over Wildlife Refuge Fire

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ALAMO – On Thursday, the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is still closed. Officials said the grass fire is 100 percent contained.

A property owner who lives on the east end of the refuge said he's lucky and hopes it stays that way.

The homes on the east end of the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge are hidden. Trees, brush and acres of habitat surround them.

“I just thought they were burning sugar cane or something over there,” said property owner Daniel Miller.

The smell of burning grass alerted homeowners like Miller to the look at the smoke on his way home. He's called this area on the east end of the Santa Wildlife Refuge home since the 1980s. Miller said this is a first of its kind fire near his land.

A fire departments siren woke up him Wednesday night when the fire started.

“I had seen two or three fire engines going down the road and I thought there may have been a drowning,” said Miller.

Miller was surprised to found out from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife that an ember from Mexico blew across the Rio Grande and started the fire.

His home is far from the initial blaze. Still, he's concerned with old trees and dry brush. He's worried a fire could cause problems for his family.

“Embers and stuff would fly over into our yards and stuff and catch the leaves on fire and possibly the house go on the roof of the house and catch the houses on fire,” said Miller.

Miller said he’ll continue to make sure the fire doesn't come too close.

Santa Ana Wildlife officials’ points out homeowners like Miller are not in the danger zone for the fire.  The fire has burned 325 acres.


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