Dry, windy day fu­els Cen­tral Texas blazes

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - Amer­i­can-States­man staff

A large blaze that gut­ted an apart­ment building in San Mar­cos was one of sev­eral fires in Cen­tral Texas fu­eled by dry con­di­tions and high winds Thurs­day.

The fire started about 1:15 p.m. at a building at the Cham­pi­ons Cross­ing apart­ment com­plex on 345 Cham­pion Blvd.,said San Mar­cos com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Kristi Wy­att.

About a dozen units were af­fected by the fire, Wy­att said. No one was im­me­di­ately re­ported in­jured, but San Mar­cos po­lice were still work­ing Thurs­day af­ter­noon to ac­count for all the res­i­dents of the dam­aged building.

“The winds are very high to­day, not the ideal sit­u­a­tion to fight a fire,” Wy­att said.

It is un­clear how the fire started.

Fire­fight­ers in Austin re­sponded to more than 50 small grass fires, many of which started with dis­carded cig­a­rettes that were not prop­erly ex­tin­guished, Austin Bat­tal­ion Chief Palmer Buck said.

Buck said im­prop­erly dis­carded cig­a­rettes are the num­ber one cause of fires in Austin. Com­bined with low hu­mid­ity, windy con­di­tions and plenty of flammable plant mat­ter on the ground, Thurs­day re­sulted in a num­ber of fires more com­mon dur­ing a sum­mer drought, Buck said.

In Round Rock, Fire Depart­ment Lt. Manuel Bruner said he re­ceived about 10 calls for small fires in the city as of Thurs­day af­ter­noon. He and fire­fighter Brand­lyn Gern­ert ex­tin­guished a cou­ple small fires just out­side of the Ken­tucky Fried Chicken at the Round Rock West shop­ping cen­ter on U.S. 79.

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