Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

July 1, 2013

Fire near Seven Points

Blaze spreads to 72 acres and 100 round hay bales

Athens — As temperatures soared past the century mark, Henderson County firefighters battled heat and flames in several locations.

The biggest blaze was a pasture and hay fire near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Highway 85 and Race Track Road west of Seven Points. 

Seven Points Volunteer Fire Department Chief A.J. Kirksey said the fire spread to 72 acres while destroying 100 round bales of hay.  The blaze took eight departments about five hours to quench. A total of 65 fire personnel and 26 apparatus from the various departments responded to the fire.

“One of the guys at the fire said when they got there, it wasn’t that big,” Kirksey said. “All of a sudden, the wind got up and it started to spread.”

Kirksey said the hay had been freshly baled and the grass was low and dry. With the Fourth of July holiday approaching, he’s concerned about the fire danger over the next few days.

“It’s getting drier and with the fireworks and people getting out of school and camping it gets worse,” Kirksey said. “If we get a little rain, they relax and start burning trash, then here we come.”

Henderson County has wooded areas that can be especially tough for firefighters, Kirksey said.

“We have trees down here that are 50 to 100 feet tall,” Kirksey said. “The cedar trees are just like gasoline for a fire. It crowns and spreads to the next tree.”

Kirksey said the department’s main concern in a pasture fire is to keep it from spreading.

“Our main concern is to protect the structures — people’s houses,” Kirksey said.

On Monday, the county was under a high fire danger alert from the Texas Forest Service. The Keetch Byrum Drought Index places Henderson County in the 500 to 600 range on the 800 point scale. The KBDI indicates how much moisture is in the land, ranging from zero, meaning total saturation, to 800, meaning no moisture whatsoever. The index forecasts that within 14 days, the Henderson County average will be 533. The wettest part of the county stood at 467 and the driest at 601.

A year ago at this time, the county rating stood between 500 and 600. By September, the index average for the county had increased from 600 to 700. Navarro County adopted a burn ban on Monday with a KBDI reading of 575.

Text Only
Local News
  • DSC_0018.JPG Volunteers now needed for Athens Soup Kitchen

    Athens resident Terry Mayhall walked through the doors of the Athens Soup Kitchen asking if he could just volunteer. Mayhall now spends his Thursdays cooking soup for people who are hungry.
    Athens Soup Kitchen, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission is to feed those who are hungry. The facility that feeds 30 to 63 people weekly, opened its door in March 2014.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-26 Mike chamber.png Coston named chamber president

    After a diligent search, the Athens Chamber of Commerce Board has named Mike Coston president. 
    “The chamber board selected a search committee, which consisted of Chamber members, community leaders and business owners,” Ashley Adams McKee, Chairman of the Athens Chamber of Commerce Board, said. “Our committee knew that we wanted to take our time to find the most qualified person to serve as our new president. We had more than 10 applicants and in our first round of interviews we were all equally impressed and excited about Mike's experience and passion for chamber business.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Update on restaurant projects given

    City of Athens officials gave an update on some ongoing projects and financial information at a meeting on Wednesday.
    Director of Planning and Development Gary Crecilius said progress on the Cotton Patch Cafe has slowed considerably with the discovery of a possible environmental hazard. The restaurant is being constructed east of the Walmart store on East Tyler Street.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_3092.JPG HCPAC announces ‘Mattress’ sales

    Why would HCPAC be selling mattresses? Actually, the “mattresses” are tickets to “Once Upon a Mattress,” which opens Thursday, Aug. 7.
    The 26th Annual Youth Summer Musical stars 24 very talented area students, ages 10 through college, and tells the “fractured fairy tale” version of the “Princess and the Pea.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-26 CCL Rotary Celebrity waiter.jpg Gearing up for Celebrity Waiter event

    The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake is gearing up for its annual Celebrity Waiter event. The Celebrity Waiter committee met on Thursday to discuss last minute items. The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 9 at Athens Country Club. This will be the 18th year the CCL Rotary Club has hosted the fundraiser. For ticket information call Erin Osborn at 903-887-7486.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul harris.jpg Paul Harris recognition

    Rotary of Cedar Creek Lake President Erin Osborn presents Rotarian Bill Burnett with his second Paul Harris recognition. Rotarians are given a Paul Harris recognition when a Rotarian donates $1,000 or more to the fund outright. Benefactors receive a certificate and insignia to wear with a Rotary or Paul Harris Fellow pin.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-25 Sanders_Kendall.jpg Sanders suspended indefinitely

    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
    Wide receivers Kendall Sanders, of Athens, and Montrel Meander were arrested and later released on personal recognizance bonds. According to an arrest affidavit, Sanders and Meander texted each other during earlier interviews with police to "get their story straight" and Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography tied to the alleged assault on June 21.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25 tree down college st. 1.JPG Thunderstorms take their toll on counties

    A line of thunderstorms rolled through Henderson County on Wednesday, snapping tree branches and power lines along the way.
    The winds that accompanied the storm resulted in thousands of people in North Texas without electricity and roads broken by falling trees or debris.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Council considering Burton's severance package

    The Athens City Council, by a 3-to-2 vote, tabled a budget adjustment on Wednesday to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who’s stepping down at the end of the year.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Eustace ISD approves tax rates

    The Eustace Independent School District Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday in the Eustace High School Library.
    Several reports and agenda items were considered by the board, and all were passed or approved. Board Secretary Ashley McKee was absent.
    The board was presented with the superintendent's reports on revenue, expenditures, payroll and taxes.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo