Fire crews set up off East Darby Road in Dexter as the Lincoln Fire burns through marshlands on its way to the Pecos River Monday. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)
A large grass fire burned through wet marshland off East Darby Road in Dexter Monday for more than three hours after crews from six departments steered it away from homes.
The cause of the Lincoln Fire was still unknown Monday night.
The wind-driven flames burned more than 100 acres of swampy grass and salt cedar as it blazed toward the Pecos River.
“We were able to protect the homes,” said Assistant Fire Chief Tim Fuller of Midway Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire started at about 2:45 p.m. and was out by 6 p.m. Temperatures stayed in the low 70s, but strong and steady winds whipped through the open fields at the site during the afternoon.
Several manufactured homes lined East Darby Road, along with agricultural land and a few stick-built houses that stood on large plots of land.
Crews from Midway Fire, East Grand Plains, District 8, Sierra Fire, Dexter and Hagerman fire departments responded with more than 14 trucks and engines. Thirty-five crews were on the ground by 4 p.m.
“The problem is trying to get to where it’s at,” Fuller said.
The ground was covered in needle grass and wet, swampy areas. The heavy trucks were having difficulties trying to maneuver through the land to reach the flames, Fuller said.
Fires in the area could become more frequent following the late rains that the area received, Fuller said. Precipitation in the region allowed grasses to grow.
“We haven’t had a big grass fire in several years,” Fuller said. “Now, we’re really fighting needle grass. The needle grass is blowing and it burns like gas.”