Controlled burn threatens Shady Shores homes - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Controlled burn threatens Shady Shores homes

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- Some East Texas homeowners are fuming over a controlled burn that threatened their homes over the weekend. It started Saturday in Marion County in a area called Shady Shores, on the 400 block of Impala Street. Several acres were scorched. Neighbors say a landowner set big piles of brush on fire Saturday.

"We were just scared that the embers would fly off and burn our house or jump the road and it was real windy," neighbor Margaret Dye said.

High winds began to whip the fire into huge flames, moving towards homes on each side.

"It got up as high as the high line wires, we had trouble getting the fire department out here, and the guy was out here using an accelerant," Dye said.

Shady Shores has no fire hydrant system, and it requires tanker trucks to fight fires. But it takes time to organize a volunteer department. So neighbors pitched in to stop the flames from getting to a nearby home.

"We got her water hose out there and strung it out and put out as much as we could," Dye said.

Neighbors said crews arrived 45 minutes later and put out what remained of the fire. Fire officials said now is a very bad time to burn.

"People in the entire state of Texas need to take an extreme heed to any type of outdoor burning, because the whole state is under the most extreme wildfire danger conditions that exist. The risk is just too great right now," Longview Fire Chief J.P. Steelman said.

But the threat may not be over.

"After the fire department finally put some of the big places out, he came back out here the very next day and did it again," Dye said.

Fortunately, no major damage was done to any property next to the fire.

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