Disaster Declaration Declared for Mesquite Heat Fire-May 18, 2022
Taylor County Judge issued a Disaster Declaration Order on May 18, 2022 due to extreme drought conditions and spread of fire near Happy Valley with loss of homes and potential threats and further threat to Town of Buffalo Gap and populated areas. It was determined that a mandatory evacuation order for areas in the path of this fire was needed to protect our community and citizens from the unpredicted circumstances of high winds and direction that the fire was headed. Please click on the link below to review the orders in place. The Mesquite Heat Fire is 25% contained at 9,613 acres. 27 Homes have been destroyed and many more threatened. No fatalities or resident injuries have been reported. Local and State Emergency Responders continue with containment with line development and structure protection.
Utility Crews have been out restoring utility damages and restoring power to impacted residents and businesses. Volunteers have been active in answering resident and responder needs for shelter, food, and hygiene needs. Beltway Baptist Church in Abilene is the shelter for displaced residents with American Red Cross support.
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and Taylor County Expo is assisting with housing for livestock and domestic animals for impacted residents. Abilene Animal Shelter has supplied kennels for pets. They are requesting donations for hay, feed, fencing materials, t-posts and post stays.
Donations for food, water, and hygiene items continue to pour in, and all needs have been met at this time. Those wishing to support recovery efforts are encouraged to donate through the Community Foundation of Abilene portal at: https://cfabilene.org/community-impact/fire-relief-funds
Disaster Declaration (May 18, 2022)
Mandatory Evacuation Order (May 18, 2022)
Rescinding Mandatory Evacuation Order May 21, 2022
Effective May 22, 2022, at 12 noon, Sheriff Bishop released that all impacted residents will be allowed to return to their property without restrictions. Property owners need to report damages by clicking on the ISTAT QR Code above or following the prompts on the website to further assess your damages to the state.
Judge Bolls stated he is glad to see the progress made on the Mesquite Heat Fire over the past several days, but there will still be a substantial recovery and reconciliation period ahead. Those who suffered loss or damage should report it as part of the TDEM survey. Judge Bolls would like to acknowledge the work done by everyone that was part of the fire response. We owe you a great debt of gratitude. Our thoughts and prayers continue for those affected by the fire.