Bearing fire traffic wreaks havoc on roads

TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A massive East Texas wildfire has caused more damage than 22,000 acres of charred earth.

Loggers are work overtime to salvage timber out of Trinity County before it rots.

Trinity County employees are trying to repair a road off FM 2262.

"We had to do something,"  said Sherwood Forrest of the Trinity County Road and Bridge Department. "We had got to a point where traffic couldn't get up and down this part of it."

The 22,000-acre Bearing wildfire that ripped through the county in June is partially to blame.

"Normally, if it wasn't for the fire, the road wouldn't be in this shape," Forrest said. "But you know the timber is burned, they're trying to get it out and it's just so dry that it just turns to powder and it just has to be fixed. There wasn't anything else to do but haul some rock and fix it."

A county commissioner tells us about 30 contractors have crews hauling timber out of the area for the last six weeks.

It's ruining some of the roads.

Contractors and some timber buyers are pitching in to fix them, but the county wants the timbered land owners to help foot the bill.

Without enough resources, the county says it's impossible to fix all the roads.

So they've shut portions down to loggers.

"We didn't get no more rain and it's just got so bad and when you put heavy traffic on it, it just won't hold up," Forrest said. "It just gets worse and worse."

The loggers say they know they're tearing up roads, but they have a job to do. Timber has to be cut.

"After it's burned, if you don't get it in a certain amount of time, it turns blue and the mills won't use it, so it's just ruined, lost wood," said Rodney Tousha of Renfro Logging.

In 25 years of logging, Tousha says he's never seen this many contractors in one spot.

"It's really bad," Tousha said. "That road is really rough right now, but I know there isn't anything they can do about it until we get off of it."

As loggers try to keep the profit from burning up along with the land, crews work to fix the road for residents.

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