Upshur County fire contained, Forest Service monitoring - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Upshur County fire contained, Forest Service monitoring


The East Mountain Volunteer Fire Department says a 40 acre fire in Upshur County is contained. 

The Texas A&M Forest Service says the fire started Saturday on Flamingo Road, just off of Highway 300 outside of Gilmer. They say a spark from nearby power lines caught the trees below on fire.  

The forest service, Gilmer Fire Department, East Mountain Volunteer Fire Department and West Mountain Volunteer Fire Department worked together to put out the fire, which rekindled on Thursday afternoon.

Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles. 

People who live and own land next to the fire were standing by. 

"It seems to be going the opposite way from us so I think we'll be ok, they've got a lot of fire lanes on this side of the flames so we'll be alright,"says Curtis Cowan, a man who lives near where the fire started.

"I try to keep my fire lanes plowed and I'm going to plow some more tomorrow and the way the wind's been blowing you can't tell where this thing will go," says Jim Montgomery, who owns the land next to the burned 40 acres. 

Montgomery says his land has burned before and this fire is too close for comfort, "All of us that have cattle and work with trees and timber and stuff are extremely concerned about the welfare of our property at this time."

Firefighters used four bulldozers, several ground crews, four wheelers, and even a Department of Public Safety helicopter to fight the fire. 

"I think they'll handle it, they've got enough equipment out there to handle it," Cowan says.

Montgomery hopes this fire is the last in his area but fears his land is telling him a different story, "I've got around five ponds and they're down at least 10 feet and that's the most I've ever seen."

He says the people who live around the fire are a tight-knit group and are all looking out for each other. 

The East Mountain Volunteer Fire Department says no homes were ever in danger because of this fire. 

The Texas A&M Forest Service is monitoring the fire overnight.

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