ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Mesquite Heat Fire has burned more than 7,000 acres in Taylor and destroyed 50-60 homes as of noon Thursday.
Mayor Anthony Williams corrected an earlier statement around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, stating 50-60 homes were destroyed. He corrected the statement to be 27 homes destroyed. Facebook post here.
In an update from the Texas Wildfire Incident Response System just before 1:00 Thursday afternoon, the fire grew to 9,000+ acres in size.
Out of the 9,613 acres burning, only 5% of the blaze is contained.
Jim Ned fire officials gave the update on the spread of the fire, confirming 7,000+ acres have been burned and the blaze is currently 10% contained.
Abilene Mayor Williams provided also gave an update on Facebook Live Thursday morning, emphasizing the that the 50-60 homes lost is currently an estimation, and officials are still surveying damage as firefighters continue to battle the blaze.
This update was made after Mayor Williams attended a meeting with Taylor County officials and volunteer fire department leaders as they planned for the good possibility of the fire spreading once again.
According to Mayor Williams, the Mesquite Heat Fire was 30% contained by 3:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, but then containment was lost, and the fire more than tripled in size, growing from 1500 acres to an estimated spread of at least 5,000 acres.
The State of Texas has called in a Gold Star team to fight the fire, which as exceeded the capacity of local resources. This will allow a top-tier team to fight the fire as well as open the door for some financial relief.
Weather conditions will be similar Thursday afternoon to what they were when containment was lost Wednesday, so officials are preparing for another worst-case scenario
Evacuation orders are still in effect for most of the area. Click here for an up-to-date list of evacuations.
BigCountryHomepage.com will continue to provide updates throughout the day. Check back for the latest information.