MADISON COUNTY — The Goose Fire continues to burn in Madison County after a night of rapid growth on Sunday as it moves closer to several campgrounds.
The haziness over Ennis and the surrounding area to the south, including about 32 miles southeast of Ennis, has only gotten thicker with the Goose Fire.
Just during that time from last night until now, the fire has doubled in size from where it originally started near the Hoodoo Pass on July 1.
“We saw such a big increase in fire activity in the last 24 hours,” says Alex Schwier, public information officer during the Goose Fire.
Fire crews ended their Sunday daily report with the fire estimated at 1,125 acres. In the next few hours, that fire bloomed to 2,214 acres.
“We had some pretty high winds, gusts up to 25 miles per hour and that just pushed the fire north,” Schwier says.
Schwier adds the expanded closures stem from the fire’s growth and a dangerous combination of heat, dryness, and wind while the US Forest Service closed a large portion of the forest, including several campgrounds and boat launches.
“We’ve got two helicopters out there today,” Schwier says. “They are helping with bucket work, so dropping water and then we have hand crews that are digging line in the area.’
Campgrounds like Cliff Point, Hilltop, and Wade Lake are also closed.
Many lined up only to be told to turn around at the barricades.
“That fire is continuing to go up that northern side, the northwestern side of Cliff Lake,” Schwier says. “We’re trying our hardest. We are focusing our efforts on that area.”
Schwier says the flame is still in a desolate area along Cliff Lake.
No structures are threatened and no evacuations are in place - for now.
“It’s helpful if people could stay out of the area,” Schwier says. “Campgrounds have been closed just as an extra precaution.”
The Forest Service says the forest closure, including the roads, will remain in effect until either the order is rescinded or August 31, whichever comes first.
And there is a Facebook page for Goose Fire updates.