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Bexar County firefighters douse dozens of grass fires during Fourth of July weekend

Buckshot fire eighting efforts in Kerr County.jpg
Texas Forest Service
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Old Buckshot Complex Fire in Kerr County reported contained on Sunday

Bexar County officials report there were 51 grass fires during one 24-hour period outside of San Antonio during the Fourth of July weekend.

The official cause of many of the fires were under investigation, but fireworks use was prolific in the county, where they are legal.

County Commissioners at the recommendation of County Fire Marshal Chris Lopez did ban the sale of rockets with sticks and missiles with fins before the holiday.

One of the larger grass fires was reported on Saturday in the China Grove area in southeast Bexar County. It consumed 250 acres before firefighters from Bexar County Emergency Service Districts and the China Grove Volunteer Fire Department could contain it.

The Texas Forest Service also reported two large grass fires over the weekend in Guadalupe County. One dubbed the Branch Fire charred 95 acres. Its cause is blamed on sparks from a metal grinder. The other fire in the county named the Dix Road fire burned 270 acres. The cause of that blaze remains under investigation.

The Texas Forest Service reported on Saturday it was battling nine new wildfires across the state that had damaged 2,278 acres. The largest active fire of the weekend in the entire state was the Dempsey Fire in Palo Pinto in North Central Texas, which blackened 11,598 acres, but was 98% contained at last report.

The service reports firefighters contained the Old Buckshot Complex Fire in Kerr County by Sunday, but not before it scorched 257 acres.

A serious drought continues and fire prone conditions locally and across much of Texas remain. San Antonio is approaching a 1-foot rain fall deficit for the year, according to records from the National Weather Service.

The weather service said some gulf moisture will push into the state on Thursday to increase humidity and lessen the chances of wildfires.

There is no rain in the forecast for the San Antonio area this week and highs are expected to exceed 100 degrees into next week. The high next Monday is forecast to be around 104. Heat indices will often make it feel even hotter.

The next best chance for rain is in the middle of next week, but forecasters said it was still too far away to make an accurate prediction.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian