Harrison County Fire Marshal talks about 169 acre fire

Harrison Co Fire Marshal talks about 169 acre fire

HARRISON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - There have been several reported grass fires East Texas the last few days including one that burned about 170 acres.

That one happened in Harrison County off of Homer Cooper Road about ten miles south of Marshall. KLTV spoke with the Harrison County Fire Marshall who helped find the cause has since issued a burn ban.

The Texas A&M Forest Service was checking hot spots three days after the fire started. They say about thirty acres were burning when they responded to the fire Friday afternoon.

Harrison County Fire Marshal Thomas Mock says conditions are ripe for wildfire.

"Now the humidity is starting to get in the low thirties and the 20 percent range, and it wasn't just us. As we were on that fire call, I was talking to the District Fire Coordinator for the A&M Forest Service, and at that particular time all of our assets for this district were on the call," Mock said.

Dry conditions, rising drought index and dropping humidity made him instigate the burn ban, but ban or not:

"You're liable for any time you have a fire on your property that leaves your property," Mock clarified.

Mock says that's what happened when a burn pile was left unattended.

"I know we lost deer stands and such," Mock said.

A small shed was also lost in the fire. The person who started the fire may have to pay for that.

The two fire departments on scene were stretched thin.

"You can't drag 500 feet of hose through the woods to try to put the fire out," Mock stated.

They needed equipment.

"They had two dozers on that," Mock said.

They made fire breaks where there were no roads to help stop the fire.

"A big portion of that was mine property. About 50 acres was a private individual as well," Mock said.

Mock says the mining company's reforestation efforts to curb erosion may have been affected by the fire.

Harrison County is under a burn ban for the next week, but residents are allowed to use fireworks on July 4. Mock says to use extreme caution and have a hose or fire extinguisher handy if you are lighting fireworks.

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