Marlin had enough water to help put out a wildfire, highlighting need for conservation

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 8:17 PM CDT
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MARLIN, Texas (KWTX) - T he worries about a Falls County fire have eased, but there is still concern about the water source used to put the fire out.

Currently, the Bulldog Fire near Marlin is fully contained and burned a little less than 100 acres.

Because emergency responders were using the city’s main water source to draw water to fight the fire, city officials were asking residents to stop a lot of water usage Tuesday night.

Now, they are free to use water for a lot of things but the city is still pushing one key message.

“Conservation, conservation, conservation,” said Cedric Davis, Marlin city manager.

And if the Tuesday Bulldog Fire highlighted anything, it is water can be drained quickly if any emergencies arise.

“The miracle on that is … we only used 9,000 gallons of water,” said Davis.

Air drops were essential to putting out the fire, which came dangerously close to houses outside the city.

As a precautionary measure, Marlin’s Mayor Carolyn Lofton issued an emergency request to stop just about all water use, because emergency responders were drawing water from the city lake.

“In other words, we didn’t know how far that fire was going to go,” said Davis. “We needed every drop of water to make sure we were able to contain that fire.”

Since mid-July the city has been in a stage 4 drought contingency plan, asking residents not to water outdoors or go to car washes during the day, and refrain from refilling pools, among other things.

“But right now, we’re trying to make sure that if they help us conserve our water, we could probably get past that September range,” said Davis.

Last week the city started issuing fines for those not complying. Officials said residents get one warning and after that, they have to pay a fine that ranges from $100 to $500.

“We had made sure we put it out there, let people know,” said Davis. “We’re going to start enforcing if you don’t help us conserve.”

So far, much of the residents are complying and even though lake levels are low, the city is in a comfortable spot, said the city manager.

But with hardly any rain in sight and temperatures staying high, there is no telling how long that comfort could last.

“If you conserve a little today, you will have some for tomorrow,” said Davis. “If you decide to take it all today, you will not have anything for tomorrow.”

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