Heroic Efforts by East Texas First Responders Douse Huge Wildfire
Support Your Local Firefighters
The next time a fire department in your neck of the woods is having some sort of fundraiser, please support them. Whether it's a benefit BBQ, fish fry, or yard sale, any money you give them helps them to keep communities safe when dangerous incidents occur.
One of those events happened late this afternoon in northern Newton County. A massive wildfire broke out and spread over 140+ acres, but thanks to the heroic efforts of numerous firefighting personnel, the blaze was contained within several hours.
The wildfire was given the name 'Little Cow' due to its proximity to a creek with the same name. The fire was located about 5 miles east of the Jasper County line and just south of RR 255. The fire did jump the highway at one point during the firefighting efforts.
According to a post on the Facebook Page for the Beech Grove VFD (BGVFD), the following narrative describes the incident.
At 5:23 pm, BGVFD was dispatched to assist the Burkeville Fire Dept. with a large woods fire on RR 255 in Newton County. The fire started deep in the woods south of RR 255, pushed by a southerly wind in 100-degree plus temperatures and relative humidity values around 40%. It was burning in pine plantation and behaving erratically, often crowning through the pine plantation. The fire did cross over RR 255 and continued north.
The Burkeville Fire Department was the primary response agency and the Incident Commander was Burkeville Fire Chief Charles Duckworth. Chief Duckworth requested the appropriate assets and should be commended for his leadership exhibited as the fire was declared contained around 8:15 pm.
Numerous fire departments responded to the incident including:
Burkeville Fire Department
Newton Volunteer Fire Department
Toledo Bend Volunteer Fire Dept
East End Volunteer Fire Department
Lake Rayburn Fire Department
Jasper Texas Volunteer Fire Department
Beech Grove VFD
The Texas A&M Forest Service also provided 6 dozers, 3 fixed-wing aircraft, 1 helicopter, and a multitude of support personnel
No details have been given concerning the source of the fire. All counties in Deep East Texas are under a burn ban.
IRR 255 was closed for a period of time as traffic flow was controlled by the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. The fire is contained at this time, however, many hot spots continue to burn and smolder within the burned area. The Forest Service will remain on the scene continuing containment efforts and monitoring. Please be aware of low visibility due to smoke if traveling in this area.
These brave firefighters endured the scorching heat to avert a catastrophic situation. They deserve our thanks as well as our financial support.