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

ZAVALLA, TX (KTRE) - First responders areurging caution tonight after a brush fire in Zavalla Wednesday afternoon.

The fire started in afield off of North First Street.

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

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

Residents say the fire gotvery close.

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

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

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

At one point evacuationswere considered with firefighters afraid nearby homes would be the next thingto 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 thefire move understood why first responders were so worried.

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

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

"That fire goesacross the top stuff and the bottom stays wet, so it doesn't take much to spreadquickly," Brunk said.

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

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

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