A massive brush fire on the 700 block of County Road 440 destroyed 866 acres of land on Thursday.

Firefighters from approximately 12 departments such as Ben Bolt, Alice , San Diego, Orange Grove and Premont battled a large brush fire that threatened homes in the area.

According to reports, the fire has engulfed 827 acres and the wind gust is at 21 miles per hour.

Ben Bolt received a call to the area. There are several homes along the area however, the majority of the land is brush.

As the smoke filled the blue sky the grass and trees were cracking as the fire turned them into ashes. The brownish smoke filled the air and made visibility difficult at times.

Despite the strong winds the firefighters contained the fire. As the fire overwhelmed the grassy area the firefighters battled the fire from multiple areas.

"Schools in Ben Bolt- Palito Blanco Independent School District have been evacuated due to a massive brush" said Sheriff Oscar Lopez. "We closed the schools. Fire travels at a high rate of speed and they need to be safe."

Officials evacuated residents in the area.

According to officials, the fire at one point was on the roadway as the winds continued to drive the fire.

The Department of Public Safety Helicopter was in the area assisting firefighters from the sky by giving them paths to get into the ranches and protect homes and structures in the path of the fire.

Fire trucks were routed as the fire grew.

As of 7 p.m. a fire crew was still on the scene to watch for hotspots that may reignite the flames. The cause has not been determined. 

Brush fire on County Road 461

On Wenesday, more than two dozen firefighters contained a grass fire on County Road 461 in Ben Bolt.

Ben Bolt Fire Department arrived at the scene to find a fast moving fire.

Firefighters summoned the help of Alice and Premont Fire Departments to help gain control of the fire

Fortunately, a land owner in the area was available to help control the fire with a tractor and disc, said Ben Bolt Fire Chief Patrick Thomas.

The fire (destroyed) to approximately 30 acres before the fire was extinguished. Two homes were threatened and saved.

Six fire trucks and 15 firefighters worked hard to contain this fire.

Over the past few days fire activity has been on the rise and we expect it to keep that trend as a result of the current weather and natural fuel conditions, Thomas stated.

Copper thief starts fire

Alice firefighters were called to a grass fire Tuesday at approximately 6:30 p.m. on County Road 140.

Upon arrival, the firefighters found a fast moving grass fire with a heavy fire load, according to Fire Marshall Patrick Thomas.

The fire began when person removed copper wire from a meter box and power pole, Thomas stated. The sparks from the meter box and power pole started the grass fire.

Several homes and vehicles were threatened.

Approximately five acres were burned and one vehicle was destroyed, Thomas stated via press release. 

Twenty-two firefighters from three departments responded. Six homes were saved. No injuries were reported.

Ben Bolt and San Diego Fire Departments assisted.

The incident was referred to the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Office.