Big Country VOAD

Big Country VOAD, Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, is a group of nonprofit organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster.

Big County VOAD was chartered in 2003 and now has over 30 partners.  One of the goals of Big County VOAD is to create efficiencies in volunteer management and donations of supplies and equipment.

VOAD, in partnership with volunteer fire departments, Taylor County, City of Abilene, Beltway Park, United Rescue Alliance, Texas Department of Emergency Management, American Red Cross, and Texas Baptist Men are currently in View offering support to victims of the Mesquite Heat Fire.

This website will be updated regularly for those affected by the fire and for volunteers to view immediate and long-term needs.

Please contact your local 211 for updated information on the Mesquite Heat Fire. Information is available from 8-5, Monday through Friday at (325) 673-8211 or at 211, option 1 is available 24 hours.

Our local 911 operators are inundated with calls inquiring about local fires. UNLESS YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, DO NOT CONTACT 9-1-1 IN REGARD TO THE 277 South MESQUITE HEAT FIRE!

Active Updates for Mesquite Heat Fire

Update 5/18/2022 11:11 AM
The Mesquite Heat Fire is estimated to be 10% contained at 1,500 acres.  Ten homes are reported destroyed with 50 homes threatened and numerous outbuildings damaged/destroyed.  The fire is very active and wind-driven; terrain is difficult.  Fire progression has not been stopped.  Local responders continue to provide structure protection and support for TAMFS with fire containment.  American Red Cross reports (4) shelter occupants overnight at View Baptist Church.  TAMFS and ARC will be conducting damage assessments.  Case management is underway and displaced residents are receiving assistance. 

Resources Engaged:  Taylor County SO, Taylor County OEM, Taylor County Pct 3 Road/Bridge, Taylor County Fairgrounds, ECCA VFD, View VFD, Wingate VFD, Potosi VFD, Buffalo Gap VFD, Abilene FD, Tye VFD, Lake Sweetwater VFD, Merkel VFD, Nolan VFD, ARC, Big Country VOAD, TAMFS, TDEM, TxDOT, Abilene Animal Shelter, View Baptist Church, Abilene OEM, Texas Animal Health Commission, Texas Agri-Life Extension, and West Central Texas Council of Governments.

VOAD Executive Committee met this morning at 8:30a. A summary of current needs for Mesquite Heat Fire was given. The entire VOAD will convene by Zoom a 1pm. This is what we know as of 9am.

View Baptist Church (250 Boynton Rd, Abilene, TX 79606) is serving as incent command center. 1,500 acres burned. 10% contained. Approx. 30 responders on the scene. Several houses have been destroyed, but an exact number is not known at this time. American Red Cross, Taylor County Sheriff Office, City of Abilene OEM, several volunteer fire departments, United Rescue Alliance, Beltway Park, Cameron Wiley, and others have been on site since last evening providing supplies and assistance to first responders and impacted families.

Update 5/17/2022 11:05 PM
This fire is still very active; estimated to be 10% contained at 1500 acres.  Dozers are working both flanks making good but slow progress due to terrain, fuels, and high fence ranches. Locals are working near the head fire off Hillside Rd and engines performing point protection on structures. It is estimated that 10 homes and outbuildings have been lost, but the assessment is incomplete due to limited access.

Update 5/17/2022 10:43 PM
Fuel support has arrived on-scene.  View Baptist Church, 250 Boynton Rd., has a shelter population of 4 and is ready for through-the-night operations, if needed.  Feeding/hydrating of responders is available and support for extended operations are in-place.  This fire is estimated to be 5% contained at 1500+ acres.  There are no unmet needs.  DC7 – Abilene

Update 5/17/2022 9:44 PM
This fire is estimated to be 5% contained at 1500 acres.  Taylor County Expo Center is offering to house horses for those evacuating the fire area.  DC7 and TFS continue to evaluate the possibility of FMAG for this incident.  This fire is not expected to be quickly controlled due to weather, terrain, and fuel conditions; state and VOAD support are anticipated to continue for several days.  There are no unmet needs.  DC7 – Abilene

Update 5/17/2022 9:10 PM
Fuel support is being provided by TxDOT.  A shelter is available at First Baptist Church in View, with ARC assisting; there are no reports of shelter residents as of this report.  Local officials report 6-8 homes lost with 50 threatened.  Voluntary evacuations are underway.  A type 3 IC has assumed Command for TFS.  Big Country VOAD is activated and ready to assist as needed.  This fire remains very active and is estimated to be 0% contained at 300 acres; the fire is still running unchecked at this time. Dozers are creating line and engines performing structure protection.  The fire has jumped Hidden Valley Drive and residents along Hillside Drive have been instructed to evacuate; this is a voluntary evacuation.  There are no unmet needs.  DC7 – Abilene

Update 5/17/2022 5:22 PM
The Mesquite Heat Fire, located near US 277 and SH 89 in Taylor County, is 0% contained at 25 acres.  TFS Merkel TF and RFC are assisting ECCA VFD and others on this fire in rugged terrain with thick juniper.  No homes are reported to be directly threatened, there are no evacuations, and there are no operational shelters.  There are no unmet needs.  DC7 – Abilene

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