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Mesquite Heat Fire burns 10,000 acres; resources available for those affected

By Floyd Miller



Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Photo

A great tragedy is playing out in Taylor County. At this time, about 10,000 acres have been burned, 20 to 25 homes have been destroyed, about 25 percent of a premium deer ranch is a part of the casualty, and one person has been injured, according to various reports.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, by about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, the fire known as the Mesquite Heat Fire had burned more than 9,600 acres and was 25% contained.

The one ray of hope in the situation is that Big Country people do what Big Country people do, and that is come to the aid of each other. There has been a tremendous out pouring of aid from the firefighters on the front line to those who are taking care of pets, opening up their homes or carrying water and meals to those in need.

The United Way has a wealth of information on its website. Here are some of the resources they list:


Evacuee Shelter and Resources Available at Beltway South – Fellowship Hall (west side): 4009 Beltway South, Abilene, TX 79606. 

Big Country Fire Relief Fund

211 Texas a Call for Help | United Way

Texas A&M Forest Service

United Rescue Alliance

Texas Big Country Chapter | North Texas Region | American Red Cross

City of Abilene Office of Emergency Management 

  • CodeRED  In the case of an emergency or urgent notification, the City of Abilene can notify residents via the telephone through a warning system called CodeRED. The system is geographical-based and allows the City to alert citizens based on their location and telephone numbers. A pre-recorded message tells a live person or an answering machine about the specific situation and if any action is necessary.

Texans who sustained damage caused by wildfires are encouraged to report damage through the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT).

Aldersgate Methodist Church Day Camps for kids ages 3 – 12 years. Friday & Saturday, May 20 & 21 from 9:30 – 4:00 p.m.. Lunch and snacks provided. For more information, contact them at 325.672-7893. 1741 Sayles Blvd (across from McMurry).

Livestock Supply Point Taylor County Expo Center

Accepting donations of the following:

  • Hay
  • Livestock Feed
  • Horse Feed
  • Feed troughs, water troughs, buckets, etc.
  • Fencing supplies

Donations can be delivered starting 5/19, from 8am to 7pm until further notice to: 1700 State Hwy. 36
Abilene, TX 79602

Call before drop off:

Taylor County Expo Center: 325-677-4376

Rochelle Johnson: 325-660-6486

Taylor County Extension office: 325-672-6048

Horse Evacuation Site Taylor County Expo Center, 1700 State Hwy. 36, Abilene, TX 79602


Stalls Available

Cattle Evacuation Site Abilene Auction, 3265 Judge Ely Blvd., Abilene, TX 79601


Will Clay, Yard Manager: 325-721-2277

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