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'We got the call' | Leon Springs firefighters say inter-agency effort helped suppress Camp Bullis fire

Leon Springs Division Chief Julian Maldonado said the inter-agency response allowed for more resources, expertise and experience to be on scene.

LEON SPRINGS, Texas — Fire departments assisting in mitigating the wildfire at Camp Bullis are being released from the scene as the containment of the fire improves and the threat level for spreading decreases.

Late Tuesday afternoon, officials from Joint Base San Antonio said the Training Area 23 fire was 88% contained with 3,005 acres burned. The fire was originally reported as 70% contained up until after 5 p.m.

In a press release, they added the overnight mist and rain early this morning, along with high humidity, have helped mitigate any threat of the fire spreading. Officials concluded fire patrols will continue through the end of the week and into next week, if needed, until the fire is contained.

Fifteen miles from Camp Bullis is the Bexar County ESD #4 fire station. The station along Boerne Stage Rd. is staffed by the Leon Springs Volunteer Fire Department, which is made up of 45 full-time, part-time and volunteer personnel.

The department also assisted with the wildfire at Camp Bullis.

“We got the call for assistance from Joint Base San Antonio of a large brush fire spreading within their base property. We responded with heavy brush trucks and command vehicles to provide support. As soon as we got there, we saw Joint Base personnel were fighting a large and rapidly spreading fire and we reported to the command post and formulated a unified command,” said Division Chief Julian Maldonado.

Credit: Leon Springs VFD
Leon Springs VFD work overnight to battle fire at Camp Bullis

Over the weekend, officials from JBSA said the inter-agency support on base was vital to their wildfire response. Division Chief Maldonado couldn’t agree more with the sentiment.

“Inter-agency relationships allow for a broader array of resources to respond to the incident and a broader array of expertise and experience to help mitigate the response,” said Maldonado.

Eleven firefighters from the department rotated in and out over the span of three days. The department assisted with 24-hour operations at Camp Bullis up until Monday afternoon. Maldonado said as containment improved and the threat level decreased JBSA fire leadership felt they could continue to mitigate the response on their own.

Posted by Leon Springs Fire Department on Monday, April 11, 2022

Maldonado is hopeful predicted rain will also help suppress flames going into Tuesday night.

“Yes, absolutely. The biggest effect rain has on wildfires as it increases the relative humidity quite drastically and helps to inhibit the spread of a fire and allows the crew valuable time to do mop-ups [hot spots],” he said.

Ultimately, Maldonado is grateful the fire appears to be wrapping up and no injuries occurred. He also thanked the Leon Springs community for their donations to restock their rehab supplies and credited the department for a job well done.

“Leon Springs has a lot of great working personnel motivated to help the community. We are always here. We are always ready to respond to an incident in our area and to help our neighbors as well,” he said.

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