Crews Battle Tough Terrain To Reach Fire At Local Lake

BELTON (July 7, 2013)--Crews from several Bell County Fire Department battled not only flames, but also tough terrain as they tried to contain a brush fire.

Multiple units were called out to Belton Lake to extinguish flames that as off 6pm burned 50 feet of land near the shore.

Fire crews estimated the fire to be near Lake Road FM 439 and Jackson Drive.

More than an acre and a half of brush was taken out by the flames.

The West Side Strike Team, which includes firefighters from Central Bell County Fire and Rescue, Harker Heights, Stillhouse, Salado, Sparta, Killeen, Copperas Cove, and Fort Hood all responded to the scene.

The strike team is deployed to grass fires or wild land fires, when back up is needed.

Officials say the fire was a long way down a canyon and that water supply was very short.

Flames came within 30 feet of a home, but a ground team was able to protect the home.

Several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion.

"Most of the time one department can handle two acres, but the terrain made it almost impossible to handle alone," said Shawn Robinson, Senior Firefighter, Central Bell County Fire and Rescue.

The ground team used chainsaws to cut down trees and break up debris to keep the fire from spreading further.

"This was one of the difficult fires we have taken on this year, due to the terrain," said Robinson.

"We were trying to take on a jungle and a hill at the same time."