Residents battle flare-ups Monday following 400 acre fire that t - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Residents battle flare-ups Monday following 400 acre fire that torched Eastern Smith Co.

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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

According to Smith County fire marshals, approximately 405 acres have burned in what they are referring to as the “Jackson Complex” fire.

The fire broke out around noon on Sunday along FM 2767 in Smith County, near the intersection of FM 2908. That location is just east of Tyler near Jackson Heights. Although the fire is 100% contained, many residents were still dealing with flare ups right in the back yards on Monday.

“Get it out, don't let it get to the house.”

That is what was going through Smith County resident Reginald Pitt’s head, as he drove up to his house on Monday and saw a fire break out right in his back yard.

“It was a stroke of luck,” he said. “I was intending to come later, but I was checking on my horses and saw they were alright. I then came down here and saw the fire.”

Fire officials said Pitts is not alone. They spent most of Monday widening fire containment lines and putting out other pop-up fires across the 400 acres that were torched on Sunday.

“It was chaos Sunday,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Urban District Forester Daniel Duncum. “There’s a lot of smoke today and residents are going to be worried about the occasional smoke they see and the occasional flare up. The best thing we can do is let that burn completely to ash and then there is no way it can rekindle. But flip-side of that is it may take three or four days to do that.”

Officials believe hot shreds of tire came off a vehicle that was traveling along FM 2767 and then mixed with pine straw and dry grass on the shoulder, quickly igniting and spreading through the heavily wooded area.

“It doesn't take a whole lot of heat to get started up,” Duncum said. “The fire marshal surmised that, because he found multiple sites with pieces of tire.”

Another factor leading to the blaze is the dead, brittle trees. They have become yet another hazard, with two falling right into the area’s main roadway Monday afternoon.

For now, Pitts said he will continue to stay away from the area until the conditions become more stable.

“You still smell smoke real bad,” he said. “So it will probably be Wednesday before we come back.”

Fire officials said they expect to keep crews in the area over the next few days to continue monitoring possible flare ups.

Officials said two homes were destroyed in the fire, along with multiple outdoor structures,including barns and sheds, as well as multiple vehicles.

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