BELL COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) – The Bell County Fire Marshal has provided a summary of the county-wide response to grass fire incidents from the Fourth of July Weekend.

The summary says that Bell County fire departments were tested over the weekend leading into Independence Day. In addition to their regular call volume, fire departments saw a notable increase in calls – specifically grass fires.

Across the county, departments responded to 37 grass fires on July 4. Of those, 15 were confirmed to be fireworks-related. From July 1 – July 4, there were a total of 49 grass fires – with 19 confirmed to be fireworks-related. In June 2022, the total number of grass fires was 150.

Notable large fires on July 4 include:

• A grass fire in Temple off State Highway 317, near Lake Belton High School, which burned an estimated ten acres – requiring the response of multiple agencies including Temple Fire and Police Departments, Morgan’s Point Resort and Moffat Fire Departments.

• A grass fire outside of Harker Heights, along the south shore of Stillhouse Hollow Lake, which burned an estimated three to four acres, and prompted the deployment of the West Side Strike Team consisting of units from Harker Heights, Killeen, Salado, Central Bell County, Southwest Bell County, Fort Hood, Copperas Cove Fire Departments, the Bell County Fire Marshal’s Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The cause of this fire was determined to be fireworks-related.

All data for this report was provided by the Bell County Communications Center.