POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Firefighters have managed to fully contain a huge wildfire in the Corrigan area. In the Barnum Community, the fires are still smoldering and the smell of smoke is very thick. The Texas A&M Forest Service was out working to keep the hot spots contained. Residents said they're calm but concerned.
Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Pitts said no homes have been destroyed. Corrigan police initially reported several homes were destroyed. Pitts said there have been no injuries reported.
The wildfire broke out yesterday afternoon and spread over 445 acres of land.
"It was the scariest thing I'd ever seen," said Susan Torrez, a Polk County landowner.
That was the fear that the blaze of the Pate Hill wildfire stirred as it drew nearer to homes Sunday afternoon.
"We started calling 911 when we started getting very concerned," Torrez said.
"It really blew up, and we realized it was coming this way," said Brandon Jacob, a Polk County landowner.
The flames spread quickly.
"It was already beyond what anyone could do to stop it," Jacob said.
"You heard the fire way before you saw the flames," Torrez said.
Over 445 acres of land burned. Trees were destroyed.
"It kind of got a little scary for a while because there was so much ash coming down that it would just start fires," Torrez said.
Twenty to 30 homes were threatened and evacuated to the Barnum Baptist Church.
"I can't believe how many people came out just to help us," said Tina Walker, a Barnum Baptist Church member.
Today, helicopters dropped water over hot spots
"The amazement of the helicopters just coming in and dropping water. You only see that on TV," Walker said.
"As dry as the woods are, I thought it was going to be bad," Jacob said.
Landowners are dealing with the aftermath, but they remain cautious.
"We were very lucky. Very very lucky," Torrez said.
"We're praying for rain; I mean we can't relax. There are still hot spots," Jacob said.
The cause of this fire is under investigation.
The community would like to thank all the volunteers who came out to fight the fire, along with Whataburger, Sonic, Pizza Hut, and Lowe's for donating food and water for all those volunteers. Residents said they saw volunteer fire fighters from all over East Texas coming to lend a hand.