Firefighting continues on Fort Hood as fires continue to burn in the range areas.
Where the fires are burning in impact areas, personnel are not entering o the ground, but firefighting is concentrated on keeping the fires contained.
Fort Hood Directorate of Emergency Services personnel along with supporting military units are continuing their work to suppress and contain the fires.
Operations have included air-water drops on hot spots and bulldozer support to cut and widen fire breaks as part of the efforts to contain the fires.
Six helicopters have been used to drop water along with six military bulldozers working fire breaks.
“We are carefully managing risk from this fire to reduce any possible impacts to our neighboring communities who do so much to support our soldiers and their families.,” said III Corps and Fort Hood Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen. Kenneth Kamper.
Currently, the fire poses no immediate risk of leaving the installation boundary, nor does it pose an immediate threat to life or property.
Grass fires were first spotted flaring up within the installation’s impact area July 17. Since then, four separate fires within the training area eventually grew to affect approximately 8,500 acres.
Installation officials announced July 24 the suspension of all live-fire gunnery exercises for all munitions until further notice, as aerial and ground-level firefighting operations intensified on post.
The suspension of live-fire operations came after post officials announced the closure of West Range and Triple A roads due to billowing smoke making them dangerous for motorists.
“The record heat and extreme dry conditions have created intense fire behavior,” said Bob Adams, chief of operations for the Fort Hood Directorate of Emergency Services, “thus making it a challenge to extinguish fires. The fires are burning extremely hot and burn the dry vegetation very quickly.”
In addition to Fort Hood personnel, CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the Royal Netherlands Air Force who use Fort Hood for training have been helping fight the fires.