Home Blog Wheel Bearing Spark Is Cause Of Massive East Texas Wildfire

Wheel Bearing Spark Is Cause Of Massive East Texas Wildfire

Release time : 2015-06-11 11:14:26
A wheel High Speed Bearings spark is to blame for a wildfire that has covered 14,000 acres in Trinity and Polk counties, according to information released Sunday afternoon by Texas Forest Service officials.
The "Bearing Fire,"first reported as a two-acre wildfire, began around 12:30 p.m. Friday. As of 2:30 p.m. Sunday the blaze was at 14,000 acres with 40 percent containment reported, according to Donna Wilson with the state Forest Service. An update on the scope of the fire was not available as of 9 p.m. Sunday.
"With as busy a day as this was, we don't have an update on size, but we do feel like it grew today," said Karen Stafford, also of the Texas Forest Service.
Evacuations of Helmic Road and Griffin Ranch Road in Trinity County were put back into effect Sunday evening. As of 2 p.m. all mandatory evacuations had been dropped.
The Needle Roller Bearings Fire did not claim any additional structures Sunday, after claiming two homes and six camp houses Friday and Saturday, according to the Forest Service. And no major injuries had been reported with 12 different fire crews on scene, Wilson noted.
Hudson Police Chief and volunteer firefighter Jeff Burns said his crew of two engines and a tanker went down to help Saturday.
"The fire wall was tall as the pine trees, 40 or 50 feet," Burns said. "It was pretty bad. When you're in a fire like that, you're more aware of your surroundings. Safety is the top priority."
Burns went on to commend his fellow firefighters on their efforts.
"Everyone has done a great job at protecting homes and property," he said.
The Diboll Volunteer Fire Department was standby waiting to assist where needed, officials said Saturday.
Centerville High School was being used as the incident command center. It was moved from a church in Trevat Saturday after the fire threatened the area directly, TFS officials said.
The Jasper County fire raged on Sunday with mandatory evacuations of the Rayburn Country and Forest Hills subdivisions, Wilson said.
Wildfires continued to pop up around the East Texas area Sunday with 30 homes lost in Grimes County, west of Huntsville. In Walker County 1,000 acres burned with 200 homes under mandatory evacuation. The "Cowboy Fire" in Jasper County burned 400 acres, with 80 percent containment as of 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Stafford said.
With so much fire activity, the Forest Service's resources were wearing thin, Stafford said Sunday night.
"We have totally tapped out our resources," she said. "We're having to prioritize and redistribute manpower and Stainless Steel Bearingsequipment."
Weather conditions were expected to continue to be windy today with a 20 percent chance of rain in Lufkin's forecast. TFS officials said they were hoping for rain.