BELTON, Texas (FOX 44) – UPDATE: Several Central Texas agencies are fighting a brush fire south of Interstate 14 and west of FM-1670.

This fire, named the “Dog Ridge Fire,” started on Thursday, July 28. The Central Bell Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at 1:47 p.m. near the 2600 block of FM-1670. The initial report was a grass fire. It was ignited approximately 2.5 miles east of Belton.

Bell County Public Information Officer James Stafford said on Friday afternoon that the fire has not spread beyond the fire lines cut by crews on Thursday. The latest estimate from the Texas A&M Forest Service puts the fire at 150 acres – which is lower than previous estimates. This was made by crew members directly walking the perimeter, and they are confident that it will be the last. The fire is reported to be 70 percent contained, as of Friday afternoon. The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation. 

Texas A&M Forest Service was dispatched to assist around 2 p.m. Multiple agencies from surrounding counties have assisted – including the Bell County Fire Marshal’s Office, Salado Volunteer Fire Department, Moffat Fire Department, Belton Fire Department, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Williamson County ESD 5/ Jarrell Fire Department, Killeen Fire Department, Central Bell Fire & Rescue, Downsville Fire Department, Temple Fire & Rescue, Copperas Cove Fire Department, Georgetown Fire Department, Harker Heights Fire Department, West Fire Department, China Spring Fire Department, Lorena Fire Department, Moody Fire Department, McGregor Fire Department, Bruceville- Eddy Fire Department, Holland Fire Department, Bartlett Fire Department, Belton Fire Corps and Heart of Texas Fire Corps.

Stafford said on Thursday night that the progress of the fire slowed down. Fire response entered its second operational period at 11 p.m. Thursday. Several crews continued to patrol the area overnight.

Stafford also said that the command post has “no unmet needs at this time”. While the agencies here appreciate the generosity of individuals who have offered to donate items, they are not necessary.

As of Thursday night, no homes are damaged, but between 20 and 30 are under threat. Firefighters are encouraging people to leave the area and go to Chisholm Trail Elementary.

Helicopters scooped water out of Lake Belton to drop on the flames, along with fire retardant. Firefighters say part of the fire is at a junkyard on FM-1670, which is causing the black smoke.