A five-acre grass fire took the combined efforts of five departments Tuesday afternoon, as the flames threatened to spread to nearby businesses on Industrial Boulevard.
Firemen were called in shortly before 3 p.m. to a vacant lot on the corner of Commerce Road and Industrial Boulevard. The five-acre property was quickly consumed, Alice Chief Dean Van Nest said, because of the wind and tall grass, which fueled the flames.
To compound the issue, a second fire on North Highway 281, near the intersection of Farm to Market 2044 took the combined efforts of fire trucks from the Alice Fire Department and Orange Grove Volunteer Fire Department. Both fires were reported at nearly the same time, officials said, spreading out the available manpower of Orange Grove and Alice between the two fires.
The Sandia and San Diego Volunteer Fire departments responded to the grassfire to assist Orange Grove and Alice units at the scene. As the fire was contained, Premont Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the call for assistance. Within an hour, the fire was contained and more than 80 percent extinguished.
Aside from the smoke, Van Nest said none of the businesses in the vicinity reported any damage. The incident was reported as a grass fire, but becasue of the suspicious nature of how it may have started, Van Nest said there would be an investigation into the incident.