GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Longview and White Oak fire departments responded to a call of a woods fire around 2 p.m. It happened near the intersection of Harrison Road and Highway 42 off of Ashcraft Lane south of White Oak.
Layers of dried pine straw were the perfect fuel for the fire. Longview was on scene first, quickly followed by White Oak.
Fire Chief Bill McBride says when he's on a fire, he's not so much a chief as a firefighter like the rest of them, especially if there are structures in the area.
"There's a tank farm east of us but it wasn't anywhere close to that. There's an RV park to the north and west of us. It was going towards the park but it wasn't anywhere close," McBride said.
The fire was a challenge.
"Just hard to get to, and limited man power," McBride said.
McBride believes the trees had been planted, which made it easier to get the trucks in there.
"They're in perfect rows. There's a lot of pine straw, a lot of good timber in here, and we're trying to get it before it messes it up," McBride stated.
They used water and foam to control the fire, and raked a small fire line but they felt it wasn't enough.
"We got a Texas Forest Service dozer coming with a plow. They'll go ahead and plow it; make sure nothing gets out if we get a bit of wind," McBride explained.
They were using:
"Three of our booster trucks, two of Clarksville's and then Longview was her. And we're using all of them," McBride revealed.
As they contained the fire, Chief McBride heard about something he had to check out nearby.
"We have a small fire we have to put out. Can't find the owner," McBride said into his two-way radio.
He said he wouldn't have a citation issued to the resident who was burning since the burn ban in Gregg County had only been in effect since that morning.
The Forest Service bulldozer was in Marshall at the time of the call, so White Oak stayed on scene to keep it under control until they arrived. The chief said it may have been caused by a sparking power line, but will probably log it as an unknown cause.