UPDATE: Rhonesboro fire burns 350 acres, claims 15 structures - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

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UPDATE: Rhonesboro fire burns 350 acres, claims 15 structures

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Photo Source: Josh Houston Photo Source: Josh Houston
Photo Source: Josh Houston Photo Source: Josh Houston
Photo Source: Josh Houston Photo Source: Josh Houston
Photo Source: Josh Houston Photo Source: Josh Houston

UPDATE 09/14 3:45pm: Upshur County Fire Marshal Paul Steelman says so far 350 acres have burned and 15 structures have been taken by the blaze, nine of which were homes.

Rain Tree Lake Road is not officially closed to the public, but officials are asking people to avoid the area. They say the area is dangerous, as there is a high risk of falling trees.

Fire crews will stay on the scene throughout the night to attend to hot spots. Several hot spots are currently burning, but are all within the plow lines.

Electric crews are on the scene attending to the power outage.

 


UPDATE: 10:09 AM: More than 350 acres have burned and authorities tell us at least 12 homes and two structures have been destroyed in the Rhonesboro fire. Fifteen more homes are threatened by the fire. Most people who were evacuated have been allowed to return home, but Raintree lake is still closed. Authorities believe the fire originated at FM 1002. They are trying to get as many resources today as possible because of the high winds.

 


UPDATE 7:39 AM WEDNESDAY: The Upshur County Fire Department tells KLTV that they had the fire 60 percent contained last night, but then between 1:30 and 2:00 am containment was lost and there is no word on where it stands at this point. Authorities in Upshur County do not have an official total on homes lost in the fire.


UPDATE 10:20 PM: A fast-moving fire in Upshur County has burned more than 300 acres, destroying at least 10 homes.

Around a dozen fire departments responded to the fire around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. It started west of Gilmer, in the Rhonesboro area. Authorities have now opened all roads except for RainTree Lake.

A community of people left work early today to try to get to their homes before the fire did. For Ana Valdez, it was almost too late. She was at work in Gilmer when she learned a huge plume of black smoke had made its way to her home.

She says a neighbor called her and told her to hurry home because she knew Ana had four dogs who were her world. But when she got there, authorities had already evacuated the area and were not allowing anyone in.

"We got here as soon as we could; it seemed like forever. I couldn't even get to my house," Ana says.

Tears filled her eyes as she waited anxiously with her family who were also evacuated from their homes. One of those evacuees was her brother-in-law, Javier Valdez.

"We had a police officer that went through the streets and evacuated everyone from their homes. It all happened so fast we just had enough time to get our personal belongings, so now we are here waiting," Javier says.

When Ana learned a neighbor stayed behind, she called and asked her to do whatever it took to save her four dogs who were trapped in her backyard.

"The firefighters are actually on my property, watering down my house and everything because the fire is apparently right behind my door right now as we speak," Ana says.

The next phone call brought a smile to Ana's face; her neighbor had saved all of her dogs. The next concern was her home.

"It's a terrible to feel to feel so helpless like we did today. So many of us are standing around here because we couldn't do anything. Help the firefighters, don't start any barbeque or anything because it almost evicted us from our home," Ana says.

A simple message of warning from one East Texan left to wait out the flames.

Officials at Harmony ISD told KLTV 7 they will not be having classes Wednesday because of the fire danger. Now, a shelter is open Tuesday evening for Upshur County residents forced to leave their homes. Anyone who needs a place to stay because of the fire can go to the First Baptist Church in Gilmer.

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UPDATE 8:30 PM: Upshur County officials say 12 fire departments are working to contain the blaze burning near Rhonesboro.

At least 10 homes in the Raintree Lakes subdivision have been consumed by the fast-moving fire.

A shelter has been opened at the First Baptist Church in Gilmer.


UPDATE 7:45 PM: Fire officials say the fire has burned at least 300 acres.

Sections of Groundhog Rd. and Hare Rd. are now being evacuated.


UPDATE 5:08pm: The Upshur County Sheriff has announced the evacuation of all of Raintree Lakes Subdivision, the northside of FM 1002 from Hwy 154 to FM 852, and the southside of FM 1002 from Hwy 154 to FM 49.

Two structures taken so far in this fire.


UPSHUR COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A fire in a wooded area has forced authorities to evacuate PR 3811 near the Rhonesboro community.

Crews from both Wood and Upshur Counties are assisting in fighting the blaze.

We have a crew on the way and will post more information as it becomes available.

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