Angelina Co. fire officials urge caution after windy day - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Angelina Co. fire officials urge caution after wind kicks up brush fire

ZAVALLA, TX (KTRE) -

First responders are urging caution tonight after a brush fire in Zavalla Wednesday afternoon.

The fire started in a field off of North First Street. 

Authorities are trying to figure out what started the fire but at this time believe it was man-made.

"[It was] Hell," Zavalla firefighter Richard Brunk said. "The roads and houses were all covered with smoke. We had a couple of structures in danger in the back."

Residents say the fire got very close.

"The fire was all the way out to the road and the black top," resident Kathy French said.

Around 3:30 p.m. authorities say a small fire started but grew to three acres in a matter of minutes.

"As high as the wind was today it took off quick," Angelina Couth Sgt. Chris Wade said.

At one point evacuations were considered with firefighters afraid nearby homes would be the next thing to go up in flames.

"We got real luck, with the winds as high as they are out here we could have lost a lot more," Brunk said.

Residents watching the fire move understood why first responders were so worried.

"I thought the wind was going to turn and I thought it was going back here and we had burn barrels so we went ahead and shut them down," resident Robert French said.

Despite the recent rain, today's fire proves how serious conditions are right now.

"That fire goes across the top stuff and the bottom stays wet, so it doesn't take much to spread quickly," Brunk said.

Authorities say even a small heat source can lead to a major fire.

The Texas A&M Forest service says there was a moderate risk of fire danger in Angelina County on Wednesday and that their crews are monitoring the situation daily.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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