Multiple fires roar through Rusk county - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Multiple fires roar through Rusk county

RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV )- In Rusk County, firefighters were pushed to the limit, battling 3 separate fires over a 24 hour period. Two fires erupted yesterday off of county roads 342 and 241. Then a massive fire broke out off of CR 324 around 11-am today. From air and land, fire crews feverishly worked to contain a morning blaze that had already scorched nearly 80 acres.

"Actually was started yesterday from a lightning strike, contained yesterday but because of the dry conditions escaped those original lines," says Texas forestry service agent Dena Matteson.

"Its so thick you can't get in there with your truck so we called the forestry service in and they came in with their dozers to plow," says firefighter Don Reynolds.

Crews had contained two fires the day before, that torched open wooded areas and threatened homes.

"There have been resources brought in from all over the country this year to help support these fire suppression activities, with the dry fuels we have the need for the air support you see here today," Matteson says.

Because of the scope of the fire all available units were called in 4 bulldozers and 3 fire fighting helicopters. Tense moments when neighbors looked for campers that were within the fire area, but they were able to escape unharmed.

"Its been an especially challenging time because this has been such a lengthy response to this wildfire season," says Matteson.

Exhausted forestry workers and firefighters had no time to rest, fearing that the fire would jump to yet another thickly wooded area.

"Very skilled dozer and tractor operators who can get in there and basically doze a line that hopefully will stop the spread of the fire," says Matteson.

Just another day at the office for those battling a burning summer. All 3 fires have been contained and the forestry service is still assessing how many acres total have been burned.

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