Hundreds Of Debris Sites Remain In East Texas

With more than 100 pieces of shuttle debris in Anderson County, authorities are out in force to protect the wreckage sites, which in some locations are marked with donated American flags.

Even with assistance coming from all over the state, maintaining this many locations is still an enormous undertaking.

"When we bring 160 troopers into one area," DPS trooper Garry Parker says, "It stretches everybody thin because the day-to-day job continues."

Local agencies such as Volunteer Fire Fighters, the Texas Highway Department, and Texas Parks and Wildlife have also been called to assist. Local game wardens expect they'll be receiving reports of found debris for quite some time.

"Hunting season is coming to a close," Game Warden Gary Dugan explains, "And we're not going to have contact with many hunters at this time of the year as we would if it was earlier part of the hunting season, but I expect to get calls even next year about finding debris."

It's important for the wreckage sites to remain untouched, not only for safety reasons, but also so NASA can have more accurate information to investigate the cause of the accident. No firm time table has been set, but they expect the clean-up to last for four to five days.

Reid Kerr ( reporting.