The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 314
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
eastern New Mexico burned bare more than a million acres of
land and left from fifty to a hundred thousand cattle without
grazing grounds.6 This occurred in November and forced the
ranchmen to sell their cattle or take them to other ranges. In
March of that same year another fire originated in the heart of
New Mexico and, fanned by a high west wind, soon spread to
Texas. It destroyed all the grass and much of the feed stuff in
about ten Texas counties, and burned an area about 150 miles
long and from ten to sixty miles wide." Frequent changes of wind
made fire-fighting difficult, and played an important part in an-
other fire that burned about six hundred sections of land in Lynn,
Garza and Lubbock counties. With each change the fire took fresh
hold when it seemed that the fighters had already stopped it.7
When a fire broke out it became at once a matter of concern to
the surrounding country, and everybody immediately dropped his
work and hastened to the scene. One newspaper editor told of
leaving his paper in the press, getting into a buggy, and driving
six miles into the country in record time to help fight a fire. A
few evenings later the same editor noticed that the men on the
public square of his town were milling about like ants, and looking
around, he discovered the smoke from a prairie fire south of town.
He indicated one of the methods of fighting fires in the statement
that there was a call for brooms and that thirty-five or forty men
quicldy reached the place and put out the blaze.8 A wet broom
in the hands of an experienced user was a very good weapon for
extinguishing fires. Sometimes the problem of getting water
proved to be a vexing one, especially when a fire raged for two or
three days. In such cases, water had to be hauled long distances
in a steady supply, night and day.9 But cowmen resorted to other
methods of fire fighting. One common and effective way was to
kill a cow, split her in two, tie a rope on each end of the halves,
fasten the ropes to saddle horns, and drag the carcass along the
The Dallas News, November 22, 1906. Quoted in the Borden Citizen,
November 29, 1906.
'Lynn County News, March 9, 1906.
7Ibid., January 26, 1906.
8Ibid., February 2 and March 9, 1906.
'Miss Mabel Harris, O'Donnell, Texas, to J. A. Rickard. Miss Harris
then lived on a ranch. She told of having hauled water all night to
supply fire fighters.
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Texas State Historical Association & Barker, Eugene C. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934, periodical, 1934; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101094/m1/339/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.