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Second wildfire on Highway 103 east being investigated as arson

Second wildfire on Highway 103 east being investigated as arson
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 2:30am

A second wildfire on state Highway 103 east was controlled Tuesday by local fire agencies.

The 78-acre fire is being investigated as arson, according to Texas Forest Services spokesman Todd Nightingale.

Also on Tuesday, Angelina County and city of Lufkin officials declared a burn ban due to the dry and windy conditions in the county.

The Angelina County area has received less than an inch of rain since the beginning of March, according to almanac data, leaving the ground parched and susceptible to fires.

Residents are prohibited from any outdoor burning of trash, brush, trees, storm debris and construction materials. Open campfires are prohibited. Smokers are also discouraged from throwing cigarettes from their cars.

The burn ban is in place for the next seven days, but the county commissioners’ court can extend the ban.

If local fire departments respond to an outdoor burning, they will take “immediate measures to contain and/or extinguish the fire,” an order from the county judge and Lufkin mayor states. Flagrant violations of the burn ban will be prosecuted, according to the officials.

Huntington police said the city plans to follow along with the county’s ban. The city secretary for Hudson said they are still under a burn ban due to the lack of rain, and the city of Diboll has been under its ban since April 1. Zavalla has been under a citywide ban since early March, according to a city hall employee.

The wildfire which started Sunday off state Highway 103 east also has been controlled, according to Nightingale. He said there should not be any more issues from that fire.

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