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Northeast Texas Fire Complex update: Tuesday, Sept. 21

By Texas Forest Service
Sept. 20, 2011 at 7:33 a.m.


Despite residual moisture and moderated temperatures, fuels remain dangerously dry. County burn bans are still in effect.

Northeast Texas - Firefighters are taking on a new assignment for the Northeast Fire Complex. Texas Forest Service is concerned about 60 smaller, uncontained fires scattered across Northeast Texas that started in the last 30 days and have a high potential for reburn under these extreme conditions. Firefighters are being asked to check the fires for residual heat and hot spots and mop up as needed. Crews will also be assessing control lines for leaf litter and needles and clean up as needed to reduce the potential for any escapes. Texas Forest Service liaisons will assist firefighters in coordinating access prior to entry on private lands.

"The public may not be aware of these smoldering fires but there may be heat contained within them, particularly underground, where tree roots are still smoldering. We've had a lot of leaf litter dropping from the trees in the last several weeks, and this has created a new fuel bed that could easily ignite," said Assistant Chief Regional Fire Coordinator David Abernathy.

Temperatures will be near seasonal levels, in the upper 80s to the lower 90s. Today will be partly cloudy with no chance of rain. Humidity will range from 30 to 40 percent, and winds will be NE-E in the morning, moving to SE in the afternoon, mostly less than 10 mph. The extended forecast for Wednesday and Thursday shows partly cloudy skies with a 20 to 30 percent chance of showers and storms.

Texas Forest Service and the local volunteer fire departments are asking the public to continue to work on defensible space around their homes and property to lower risk in their community from wildfire. Take responsibility for the safety of your family and animals. Develop your evacuation plan.

For additional information on defensible space and evacuation preparedness go to: www.wildlandFireRSG.org and <a href= "http://www.firewise.org">www.firewise.org</a>.

<strong>Crews will continue to patrol, and mop up as needed, the larger contained fires in the Northeast Texas Fire Complex:</strong>

<strong>Magnolia Complex</strong> (Moore,Locker,Plant, Old Magnolia fires): 4,482 acres, 100% contained, 1 crew 6 engines, 1 dozer patrol

<strong>Bear Creek Fire:</strong> 40,979 acres, 100% contained, 5 Engines, 1 water tender patrol

<strong>Dodson Fire:</strong> 1,869 acres, 100% contained, 4 engines patrol

<strong>Bowles Creek Bottom Fire:</strong> 795 acres, 100% containment, 1 Hot Shot crew, 1 engine patrol

<strong>Johnson Creek Fire:</strong> 2,143 acres, 100% contained, patrol

<strong>Rhonesboro Fire:</strong> 305 acres, 100% contained, 1 hand crew, 3 engines patrol

<strong>Gethsemane Fire:</strong> 2,378 acres, 100% contained, 3 hotshot crews, 9 engines, patrol

Firefighters will also continue patrolling several smaller fires located within the Northeast Texas Fire Complex area. This includes the Marietta Fire north of Marietta (312 acres), the Diana Fire east of Gilmer (2,324 acres) and the Marshall Fire southeast of Marshall (1,465 acres).

Air support currently assigned to the complex includes one heavy helicopter (holds up to 2,000 gallons of water), one medium helicopter (holds up to 320 gallons of water) and a light helicopter for reconnaissance flights.

Total personnel working on the Northeast Texas Fire Complex is 349.

<strong>Disaster Assistance and Donations</strong>

The Red Cross has arranged for local charities to access the Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN) system for those needing disaster assistance. Through CAN, caseworkers have access to secure client information providing collaboration and ease of referral between agencies. Call 800-RED-CROSS for additional information.

Please contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross for a list of agencies that are currently accepting donations.

<strong>Recovery & Needed Donations for Displaced Animals</strong>

Texas Animal Health Service has been working with AgriLIFE Marion and Cass County Extension Service offices and the Texas Department of Agriculture for recovery of large and small animals. Contact Eddie Hayes at 903-277-3979 for additional information. Hay donations are being accepted for horses and cattle. Drop off for animal feed is at the Linden Rodeo Arena on State Highway 8 in Linden. For additional small animal recovery, contact Caroline Weddings 903-790-9012 at the Marion County Humane Society.

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