UPDATE: Diana evacuees allowed to go home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

UPDATE: Diana evacuees allowed to go home

UPDATE: Emergency officials have lifted the evacuation of the Diana area. Residents are allowed to return to their homes.


UPSHUR COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The Diana fire forced more families out of their homes today. The fire was on both the north and the south side of 154 in Upshur County and jumped around 5:30 this evening, headed toward FM 1650.

Authorities quickly closed off several roads in that area as they tried to contain the blaze, not knowing where it was headed next.

The last few days have been a nightmare for the Pellett family.

"It's been rather chaotic. We've got so much smoke, there's ash falling from the sky," Mr. Pellett says.

The family gathered as much as they could and headed for Longview. When the smoke cleared they returned home, but had a feeling the worst was not behind them.

"My wife packed up pictures and collectable's and that kind of stuff. I'd asked her if she'd unloaded it and she said no, that she was ready to go again and they asked us to leave Sunday," Pellett said.

This morning a haze greeted them at their front door. Black clouds of smoke hovered over the town of Diana, so large they could be seen for miles. The fire had jumped, and was headed straight for the Pellett's home.

At the edge of their property, officers helped control traffic as panicked residents evacuated their homes. And with every change in the wind, the fire switched directions putting some families at ease and others in danger of losing everything.

"These firefighters are doing a great job, there's just not enough of them and not enough water and of course the weather hasn't cooperated with the wind," Pellett said.

The fire destroyed one home today. About thirty homes were evacuated, but no injuries have been reported. Authorities tell us the fire is now about 80 percent contained. We're told several evacuees are staying at Walnut Baptist Church in Diana and at the Maude Cobb Center in Longview.

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