Sabine Pass wildfire scorches 800 acres of land; fire chief details response

Published 1:36 pm Monday, August 14, 2023

The drought and heat are part of what led to a wildfire in Sabine Pass that scorched an estimated 800 acres of land over the weekend.

A majority of the fire was on land north of the Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site, with some spot fires in other areas, Port Arthur Fire Chief Greg Benson said.

He refers to this type of fire as wildland-urban interface, which, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, is a transition zone between unoccupied land and human development.

The fire left an estimated 800 acres of land burned in Sabine Pass Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

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Benson said first responders had three engines at the fire that worked to extinguish the blaze and make sure additional fires did not start.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department assisted, the latter of which used a helicopter to bucket water from the nearby river to fight the fire.

At some point the fire did “jump the road,” meaning embers floated from the fire across a roadway to another area. Benson said firefighters worked the main and took into consideration the wind and other factors to anticipate where the fire might travel.

U.S. Fire Administration also utilized a marsh buggy to reach the fire. The vehicle is designed to travel on regular and marshy conditions and has a water tank on the back to use for firefighting.

Benson said the fire was contained early Saturday and extinguished later in the evening.

Port Arthur Police Department officers assisted with traffic due to smoke on the roads.

No injuries were reported and no homes damaged.

Benson said due to proactive actions and responses done by fire crews, there was limited risk to livestock.

The origin of the fire was not known as of Monday.