ODESSA -- Crews spent hours battling a fast-moving fire in South Odessa Sunday. The fire started near FM 3503 at 3:30 PM Sunday, right as winds were picking up speed. There were a lot of crews on scene, including Odessa and Midland fire departments and numerous volunteers. They were battling tirelessly against two fires that consumed 1,500 acres and caused the evacuation of more than 100 homes near South Ranchito and Batesville Road.
You could hear the power of the wind as it shot through Ector county on Sunday. With sustained winds of 25 miles per hour, and dry grass everywhere, it didn't take much for a fire to start and spread. Before long, fire crews were evacuating one hundred homes from the South Ranchito and Batesfield areas. Those people then lined the streets, as close as they could get, forced to watch firefighters heading back and forth to fight the flames.
But it wasn't just homes that were in danger. Crews were fighting to protect the cities water reclamation plant. That plant is a multimillion dollar facility, and it was right in the fires path.
"We have agencies out there to protect the City of Odessa's water reclamation plant right now,” said Andrea Goodson, PIO for the city of Odessa.
The Texas Forest Service was called in to help fight the fire. They brought in bulldozers to help dig fire lines, and attacked the fire from the air with a helitanker. But the fire kept jumping and moving. Finally, around 8 PM Sunday, the fire was under control, but it was still not contained. The good news: no one was hurt, and no homes and structures were damaged
At one point the fire covered a 4 mile radius, and Loop 338 was shut down between Interstate 20 and F.M. 3503. As for those evacuated, the Red Cross has been contacted to assist those in need, but the residents have been allowed to return to their homes.