Just after noon Thursday Trinity Fire Department responded to a reported fire just outside the city limits. When they arrived they found more than they could handle. The fire which local officials estimated in the pre-dawn hours this morning to be 250 to 300 acres in size. During the height of the fire which consisted mostly of timberland but some pasture burned within feet of Rick Hortman’s home. The home was saved but he was not as lucky on his one-hundred-fifty foot hay barn which burned to the ground with his partial winter supply of hay for his eighty head of cattle. “It burned the hay supply but also the grass in the pastures which had already been slim with this drought,” Hortman said. He had purchased some hay which he hadn’t taken delivery of yet but much more will be needed now to feed his livestock.
In the Lake L subdivision off FM356 firefighters from eight departments and five dozers from the Texas Forest Service in Lufkin and Huntsville cut fire lines around the many homes in the subdivision. Fire crews from the Forest Service also fought to keep the fire within the line. As of 2am this morning most of the fires were out but firefighters were maintaining fire lines and knocking down hotspots. Voluntary evacuations were doe in the Lake L area as fire crept up to many homes. One mobile home was damaged.
Drivers going north on 45 during the evening commute were able to see the smoke from this fire almost sixty miles away.
Officials worry that the low humidity and winds today could set off not just hot spots but new fires. The cause has not been determined but firefighters have responded to the same area at least five times in the past few weeks.
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