Wildfire in Walker County threatening homes

September 1, 2011 4:08:12 AM PDT
Firefighters are battling a massive fire in Walker County that has been burning since late Wednesday afternoon. It has destroyed one home and more are in danger of burning down.

Authorities say have set up a perimeter around the fire and, at last check, was about 45 percent contained. About 50 firefighters from three local agencies and the Texas Forest Service have been battling the fire.

Two helicopters made dozens of trips for water, dipping in only to dump it a few minutes later. With 20 to 30 foot flames devouring pine trees in just seconds, firefighting by air has been most effective, although Jacqueline Ross is grateful for those on the ground.

"I am thankful. God is in the plan," Ross said.

On Wednesday afternoon, the fire was just a few feet from the place she's called home for 18 years. Firefighters managed to keep the fire at bay as it quickly moved to the northwest. Ross has decided against evacuation, but said it wouldn't be a restful night.

"Sleep with one eye open and one closed," she said.

The Texas Forest Service took us inside the perimeter to where the fire started. Hot spots were still burning at dusk. Only one home has fallen casualty to the fire so far, but 14 others have been evacuated.

With these hot, dry conditions, it doesn't take much for a fire to take off, meaning there will be plenty more work on Thursday.

"We'll be on this fire for several, several more days," said Ed Brown with the Texas Forest Service.

About 500 acres have been burned, but no injuries have been reported. Authorities say the fire is fast moving. It torched about 150 acres in just about two hours.

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