By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
More than 50 firefighters responded to a large grass fire Friday evening that charred about 50 acres of undeveloped land.
The fire required the Killeen Fire Department to activate west side mutual emergency response, triggering aid from several area fire departments. Responding were KFD, the Copperas Cove Fire Department, the Central Bell County Fire Department, the Southwest Bell County Fire Department, the Nolanville Fire Department and the Ding Dong Volunteer Fire Department.
Firefighters began getting reports of a grass fire just after 5 p.m. Friday in the area of Business 190 and Roy Reynolds Drive, where the old Killeen Drive-In Theater was housed before it burned down.
Fire quickly spread north and northwest through the field, sending large plumes of dark smoke into the sky. Emergency dispatchers received calls from downtown and northeast Killeen from people concerned about the black smoke.
Fueled by unchecked grass and brush growth, flames shot 50 feet into the air, engulfing trees and large bushes.
Brush trucks sped around the perimeter of the fire, fighting to keep it from reaching areas closer to structures. No structures were ever in serious danger.
By 7 p.m., the fire was controlled. Firefighters remained at the scene putting out small flare ups and charred spots where grass and brush continued to smolder.
The fire caused Killeen police to close Business 190 from Twin Creek to Roy Reynolds while a tower truck connected to a fire hydrant at the Palace Inn across the street from the fire.
No firefighters required any medical treatment from the fire, according to Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Carroll Smith.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.