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Headed to Marfa/Fort Davis!! What's the word?

Headed to Marfa/Fort Davis!! What's the word?

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Old 04-12-11, 11:15 AM
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Don in Austin
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Headed to Marfa/Fort Davis!! What's the word?

We made plans a few months ago to come from Austin to do the scenic loop again, plus Chinati Springs and haven't decided 3rd day. We had a blast in October.

Have a time-share house lined up in Marfa 13th - 17th. From the best I can tell most of the scenic loop did NOT burn, and winds are predicted to be under 10mph Thurs, Fri, Sat and our ride should be a go.

Any word on conditions from locals out there? I FULLY UNDERSTAND your having way more on your plate than worrying about our ride plans. I offer my deepest sympathy for the devastating loss of homes etc. I am just glad there was no loss of life or anyone going through hell in a burn center.

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Old 04-12-11, 11:24 AM
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Don, I live here in Austin, but here's a SitRep (Situation Report) portion from the State Operations Center:

Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties: Updated report #3 of the Rockhouse Fire (formerly named the
Marfa Fire) in Presidio and Jeff Davis Counties, located five miles south of HWY-90. The fire has
grown to 80,000 acres and is less than 10% contained. The fire started Saturday near Marfa and
burned rapidly north to Fort Davis. Numerous homes were destroyed as the fire moved through
Fort Davis and into the mountains toward Balmorhea. Damage assessments are ongoing to
determine the number of homes destroyed. Several structures were threatened and destroyed.
(The initial report indicates 20 to 40 homes lost.) The High Frontier School Camp, South Estate
Subdivision and the Mono Presto Subdivision were evacuated. Initially, it was reported that 20-30
homes were destroyed. Updated information from TFS revealed that 30-40 homes were destroyed.
Balmorhea shelter had no visitors overnight and was closed; however, the shelter remains on
standby status. FM-90, FM-117 and FM-118 were closed. Officials were waiting for an
assessment team to arrive to conduct Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs). American
Electric Power (AEP) installed a generator to provide power. SH17 north of Fort Davis and
Balmorhea remains closed due to smoke. Three hot shot crews responded to the area. Eight Type
1 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) engines responded along with four TIFMAS
water tenders. Three 20-person hand crews responded to Fort Davis. American Red Cross is
continuing to conduct damage assessments and assisting citizens with vouchers and is delivering
meals to homebound citizens. Power was restored to the City of Valentine and most power was
restored to those who did not experience damage to power lines. AEP advised that power should
be restored by 6:00 PM today. Overnight, the Blue Type 1 IMT arrived and is operating out of
Midland. RLO 6, Bexar County, and Fort Davis Fire Marshal will continue with PDAs today and will
photograph and mark damaged/destroyed structures. Texas Forest Service, Texas Department of
Transportation, American Red Cross and Texas Department of Public Safety have responded.
Additionally, 8 Texas Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) Type 1 engines and 4 tenders have also
responded. A Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) was approved for this fire. (RLO Sub 4B,
TFS) (See below for operational and support priorities regarding this fire.)
Today’s operational priorities are:
- Connect TX 17 highway with TX 118 highway.
- Slow progression of fire on the north end of the incident and continue structure protection as
necessary.
- Contain fire east of Fort Davis hung up in mountainous terrain.
- Continue replacing power poles. Approximately 100-120 poles need replacing.
- Establish a Base Camp at the County Park to support responders.
Today’s support priorities are:
- TXDOT continues diesel fueling stations for responders and water support for fires.
- Feeding task force consisting of Salvation Army (2 canteens), Baptist Men (1 feeding kitchen) and
Red Cross (2 ERVS) will continue feeding responders and citizens. Approximately 300 responders
are assigned to the incident.
- Red Cross continue with damage assessments and assisting citizens with vouchers.
- Red Cross ERV/s to deliver meals to home bound citizens (supplement meals on wheels
program)
- Ben E. Keith Refrigerated trailer, in use for freezer and cold storage to support feeding operations.
- HEB refrigerated trailer, in use, for storing ice.
- donated water available at the fire station to support responders and citizens.

Hope this helps and be careful out there if you decide to proceed.
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Old 04-12-11, 11:59 AM
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Good luck on the ride, Don. Please let us know how it went.

Brad
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Old 04-12-11, 12:10 PM
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Here is a video a friend linked on Facebook. Watching the video and reading the comments, it looks pretty bad.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/video/vi...70949&comments
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Old 04-13-11, 07:30 PM
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One of my HS friends now lives in Ft Davis. As of this AM, per Facebook report, she said there was sporadic electricity service across the immediate area. They are replacing burned up power poles as fast as they can but quite a few residences still have no electricity. My friend lost their barn and storage buildings.
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Old 04-18-11, 09:39 AM
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Don in Austin
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Thursday we were going to do the fort Davis loop, but the weather man advised winds gusting to 55 mph! So we took MTBs to Big Bend Park and cruised around off-road.

Friday we went to Fort Davis. Businesses were open, electricity was on downtown. The place was bustling with buses from all over carrying firefighters. Saw one bus from New Mexico.

Kind of smokey as there were still fires in remote areas of the mountains. Took off northwest on 118 past McDonald Observatory and soon got away from the smoke although distant views were hazy.

Returned on 166 and cut the ride short at 63 miles because we were reentering a smoke zone.

Saturday we rode Pinto Canyon Rd. to the Chinati Hot Springs. We started where the pavement ends. 25 miles of mostly downhill. This ride was AWESOME!! I can only imagine what it would have been like without the views 200 miles out hazed over.

All in all, quite a trip!

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Old 04-18-11, 01:23 PM
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I love that area. We take scuba classes out to Balmorhea springs in the winter when it's too cold
to teach here. Air temp is cold but the water is a constant 78 degrees (maybe 83 at the spring).
the scenery there is gorgeous, probably my favorite place in Texas.

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Old 04-20-11, 06:25 AM
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Mine too, but I don't think it's going to look the same for awhile. This shot was taken by a firefighter out by the McDonald Observatory.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Ft Davis_Fire_sm.jpg (51.0 KB, 9 views)
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Old 04-20-11, 11:54 AM
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Don in Austin
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Originally Posted by OldFencer View Post
Mine too, but I don't think it's going to look the same for awhile. This shot was taken by a firefighter out by the McDonald Observatory.
Most of the Fort Davis scenic loop was unscathed by the fire. Rt 17 from Marfa to Fort Davis is scorched earth big time, however.

We also rode Pinto Canyon road to Chinati hot Springs. That road was spectacular even though there was haze on the horizon.

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Old 04-21-11, 07:10 AM
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0...exas_Wildfires

some photos and conditions
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