Controlled burns begin in area's national forests
Lufkin, TX — With debris left over from 2008’s Hurricane Ike and an overabundance of dead and dying trees caused by a historic drought, fire personnel have begun controlled burns in the area’s national forests, which will continue over the next few months, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.
“Folks may see a helicopter overhead, smoke columns rising and smoke settling in low-lying areas at night,” said Davy Crockett National Forest Fire Management Officer Bobi Stiles.
Despite recent rainfall, dead and dying trees caused by the state’s worst drought in 100 years are endangering people, structures, roads and power lines, forestry officials said.
“East Texas is some 30 inches below normal rainfall totals and combined with temperatures that were above 100 degrees for 56 days last summer, thousands of drought and heat-stressed pines are dying,” Stiles said. “This creates pockets of dead trees, many adjacent to residences and rights-of-way.”
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