UPDATE: Angelina River fire still not contained; facilities announced for animal evacuations
POSTED: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 11:15am
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 1:17pm
Nacogdoches, Texas — UPDATES:
2:15 Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English encourages people who have small animals that are evacuated from the fire to bring them to the city's animal shelter. Larger animals such as livestock and horses can be taken to the Expo Center.
2:15 Some evacuations in the Upshaw Community in NW Nacogdoches County.
2:00 Douglass VFD Chief Phil Holland said the fire keeps changing direction. "Everything is just blowing by the minute out here," he said. "Every time we think we have the fire, it will stop or turn directions. We've been working around the Upshaw community still trying to keep that clear around there."
Sheriff Thomas Kerss said the fire is less than three miles from Highway 21 and continues moving in a southern direction.
Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English has declared a state of emergency in association with a fire along FM 343, which paved the way for county and government resources to have the legal right to go onto private property to protect communities
A Texas Forest Service helicopter was set to provide air assistance in the Angelina River fire on FM 343 Tuesday morning, but other TFS resources have been pulled to fires elsewhere in Texas, Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss said.
And the fire is nowhere near contained as it barrels down a mere three miles from Hwy. 21, he said.
"They're putting in dozer lanes and, a lot of times, before they can get them completed or wide enough - they're trying for 30 feet wide - the volume of this fire is so large that it's just jumping or going around those before they're able to get them in," Kerss said.
One of the plus sides to the fire is that right now it's in timber land, he said. Staying in the trees keeps it further away from lots of homes, but provides more fuel at the same time, keeping the fire going strong.
"Hopefully the winds aren't as strong today as they were yesterday," Kerss said.
Winds are expected on Tuesday to be between 5 and 10 miles per hour out of the northeast, according to the National Weather Service.
Another fire at the intersection of FM 343 and FM 225 that began when a car caught fire east of the intersection, was reportedly contained, but still burning Tuesday, he said.
"We're watching that fire and the one at CR 103 and Hwy. 95 closely, because if the winds get up, it could easily jump those lines," Kerss said.
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