Massive Smith County grass fire finally under control - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Massive Smith County grass fire finally under control

8:15PM UPDATE: Smith County Fire Marshal Orin Hale tells KLTV 7 that the fire is under control. In all, it burned more than 40 acres of woodland.

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) – Firefighters are still on the scene of a massive grass fire. They were first called to Old Kilgore Highway and FM 757 around 1:30 Friday afternoon.

The wind is causing the fire to spread, and the fire has now consumed more than 25 acres.    

A plume of thick smoke covers more than 25 acres of burning grass.

Down on the ground, crews work to put out the blaze destroying nearly everything in its path.

A mechanical problem with the landowner's truck sparked the fire.

"He was dropping off some type of sparks or embers as he went down this road behind us, and when he got about half mile back, his truck just stopped and burst into flames and the fire spread very rapidly from that point on," said Orin Hale of the Smith County Fire Marshal's Office.

The man was able to escape his burning truck.

As the blaze rips through his property, more crews rushed to help.

At one point, the fire jumped across FM 757. Motorists were asked to avoid the area.

"We're letting traffic move very slowly because of the number of fire trucks and tankers and because of the number of plows we have right here operating on the road," says Hale.

The terrain makes it difficult for crews to reach the fire.

"The trucks can't traverse it because the stumps will tear the bottom of the trucks out and it make it difficult for the plows also because they can hit a stump," Hale explained.

Strong winds are fueling the fire, which is making it nearly impossible for crews to control.

"Right now, we're extremely dry. The winds are very brisk," said Hale.

The blaze is burning faster than firefighters can work. Crews hope the wind will give them a break.

"We've got three plows here, and that's what it's going to take to contain this fire," Hale stated.

Hale said no citations will be issued.

Firefighters are still battling the blaze at this time.

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