Strangers pitch in to help stop Wimberley’s brush fire


WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) – Jesse Darnall was doing work for one of his clients in Wimberley Tuesday afternoon when he saw a fire spreading in a field.

“I was over here when I first noticed the fire over there,” he said motioning toward Farm to Market 2325. With the help of a friend, Darnall jumped the fence and used a fire extinguisher on the flames.

“One minute I could get real close to the fire, the next minute I would get hit in the face with it,” said the mechanic who became an impromptu firefighter for a few hours.

“I couldn’t imagine somebody’s house burning up. It wasn’t just this home, it’s everybody’s back there. Wood Creek North backs up to this property. All of the houses and everything, there’s no way I could not help,” said Darnall.

Darnall using a bull dozer to fight the brush fire in Wimberley on Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo/Jesse Darnall)
Jesse Darnall using a bull dozer to fight the brush fire in Wimberley on Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo/Jesse Darnall)

After doing what he could with the fire extinguisher, Darnall says he got on a tractor, and started cutting the grass around the property. “I dug with the tractor to get rid of the grass so it wouldn’t continue to spread, it would slow the fire down.”

He says it wasn’t long before strangers started stepping in to help. “A bunch of people stopped on the side of the road, jumped the fence and started helping put it out. People were going to the rental stores and grabbing Bobcats and going out to different ranches and putting fires out, it was a big group effort.”

In just a few hours a Wimberley grass fire burned 750 acres. Hays County officials report there were no injuries and no homes were lost thanks to the help of numerous fire departments and homeowners willing to protect their neighbors’ property.

While the fire is technically 100 percent contained, on Wednesday, firefighters continued battling hot spots. Officials say the fire spanned about six miles along FM 2325 in various places. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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