Wind-whipped brush fires keep firefighters scrambling

Big fires burn through large sections of East Bexar County

SAN ANTONIO - Strong, swirling winds drove a large brush fire in East Bexar County on Tuesday afternoon that kept nearly 100 firefighters scrambling against the flames.

The fire destroyed more than 400 acres, including a large swath of land around the area of Interstate 10 and Graytown Road. That fire started just after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

County fire crews from more than a dozen departments joined San Antonio firefighters in battling the fast-moving flames.

Residents in the area were told to evacuate their home. Police and county deputies blocked traffic on roads close to the fires.

Jason Clem, who owns 30 acres outside of Converse, got a call from his grandfather about the fire. By the time he reached the area, the road to his home was blocked by police. He sat in his car and watched as his property went up in flames.

“We've lost everything," Clem said. “I've been told the animals are alive, but now we've got to pick them up and take them off (the property).”

Thick smoke gushed into the air and could be seen from miles away during the day

Crews in the fire zone said powerful winds and rough terrain made fighting the fire tough work.

Gardendale Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert Hogan said flames made their way into a ravine just north of China Grove, burning more than 10 acres of land. The steep drop made it difficult for firefighters to fight the blaze.

Another fire burned close to homes off Interstate 37 South and Waterwood Pass.

Crews fighting that fire said strong winds whipped and drove the flames making it tough to put out the fire.

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