Bear Creek fire nearly 50,000 acres - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Bear Creek fire nearly 50,000 acres

By Jamey Boyum

CASS/MARION COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The Bear Creek fire in Cass and Marion counties has spread to nearly 50 thousand acres, and took at least two more houses yesterday.

So now, the Forest Service has brought in the big guns: Two Tanker Planes.

Because of this a three mile area of Lake O' The Pines has been shut down to boat traffic.

The Planes have taken over the east end of the lake, and seem to be making a difference. There is much less smoke in the sky than the last few days. The planes can scoop up over 16 thousand gallons of water, and they don't really even land. They remain in "Flight Mode" as they fill up.

Around fifty people were parked by the lake, watching the show.

"It's cool. It's really, really neat. They were flying treetop around my house over there earlier," said Carmen Pepper.

"I think it's pretty cool myself. I have watched them work fires on television, but to see it in real life is different," said Lorraine Harrison.

The wind and daytime low humidity were bringing the fires back, just like yesterday. This family lost one of their houses, which was being used for storage, and just down the street another abandoned home was lost.

Residents are hoping these planes will get the fire out.

"This is what its going to take to put this fire out. They've been fighting it on the ground..they've had 20-25-30 bulldozers running day and night for days just trying to get fire breaks and all that and its just been engulfing them and jumping over them. Its just been tough. Been real tough," said Volunteer firefighter Rod Watson.

"So you think this is going to do it?" I asked.

"I'm hopeful. I guess only God knows whether it will do it or not. I thinking he sent these planes here for us and I'm thinking he'll get them out. I sure do. I'm real hopeful."

The east end of the lake will be closed until the tankers are called to another location.

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