Pair of brush fires at Fort Hood largely contained

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two brush fires that began on Tuesday in Fort Hood have been contained.

The fires had many Austinites worried on Wednesday morning, as the winds blowing from the north caused a smoky, hazy morning commute. KXAN’s Mark Monstrola said people in the area had not noticed the smoke before, until a new cold front changed the direction of the wind.

Chris Haug, a spokesperson for Fort Hood, said one of the grass fires near Gatesville started on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. by an incendiary round during training. That fire has been contained.

The second fire was about 200 acres near FM 116 and Elijah Road about 500 yards from a housing complex in Copperas Cove. It also started on Tuesday by an incendiary round during training, an hour after the first fire. That fire has been 90 percent contained.

“With the winds coming out of the south, we didn’t want anything getting off the installation,” said Deputy Chief Coleman Smith. “Our main goal was to stop it where we did.”

Fire officials remain on the scene of the second fire. The on-scene commander recently reported that due to dry conditions and high winds in the area, flare ups with the second fire are possible.

Smith says he’s not surprised the smoke drifted as far south as Austin.

“With the way the weather is, it holds the smoke close to the ground so it has a tendency to travel great distances,” said Smith.

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