Texas A&M Forest Service firefighter suffers burn wounds after downburst causes sudden change in wildfire’s behavior

The “Coconut Fire” in Wilbarger County. (Photo: BC Emergency Management)
The “Coconut Fire” in Wilbarger County. (Photo: BC Emergency Management)(KWTX)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:20 AM CDT
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WILBARGER COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - A Texas A&M Forest Service firefighter suffered multiple burn wounds while working to contain the Coconut Fire in Wilbarger County.

It happened at approximately 10:30 p.m. on May 17.

The forest service said a thunderstorm developed near the fire area, causing erratic winds and a sudden change in the fire’s behavior.

“A downburst from the thunderstorm caused the fire to erupt, and impacted personnel working the fire,” the service said.

A firefighter suffered burns from radiant heat, was taken to a hospital for treatment, and released.

No other firefighters were injured.

“Our thoughts are with the injured firefighter, their family and friends as well as all personnel involved,” the forest service said.

The Coconut Fire is an estimated 9,000 acres and 30 percent contained.

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