AFD fighting brush fire off of FM 973 - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

AFD fighting brush fire off of FM 973

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The Austin Fired Department is working to extinguish a brush fire near the Hornsby Bend Water Plant northeast of ABIA.

Crews were called to FM 973 near Thyone and Eva Street just after 3:00 p.m. on Monday. 

A city spokesperson says firefighters have the fire contained but not controlled. They've just got to let it burn out and crews don't expect that to happen any time soon.

The real concern here is all the smoke. We're told firefighters have responded to several medicals calls in the area. We drove through one neighborhood down-wind of the fire. The smoke is so thick, it chokes you.

Several 20 to 30 foot tall composting piles at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant are burning. The city makes dillo dirt there. Dillo dirt is a combination of yard trimmings and human waste. People use it for landscaping.

The piles are in a constant state of chemical reaction. The wind, which was gusting up to 50 miles per hour in the area today, ignited the compost.

"It's hard to breathe because of all the smoke. The Austin fire department came by and said that if it's hard to breathe or if you have asthma they have resources for it to go away because they don't want us to get worse because of the smoke and the inhalation of it. It's kind of scary," said homeowner Roxana Herrera.

Firefighters will be at the facility through the night. There are also fire trucks in the neighborhoods to make sure no floating embers catch anything else on fire.

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