Helicopters Join Fight On East Texas Fires - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/7/06-Longview

Helicopters Join Fight On East Texas Fires

As East Texas firefighters continue to battle blazes each day, while a similar battle is going on, in the air. Forest Service helicopters have lend an irreplaceable hand in knocking down big fires in East Texas.

They are the most important set of eyes at East Texas wildfires, the men who crew Forestry Service helicopters. "The head of the fire where the direction that the fire is actually moving can grow to have large flame length and dozers. And people can't get in there and we can go in to drop water, cool the fire down so it's safer for people to actually go in," said South Carolina firefighter Mitchell Murphree, who is a crew member of the Forestry Service helicopter unit in Marshall.

The Marshall crew have run non-stop since arriving in Texas fighting fires, including today at a blaze off of FM 2879 in Harrison County.  "You have air support. You have ground people logistics, and you're all fighting a common enemy, which is the fire at this point," said pilot Gary Spidell.

The objective is simple, access the situation from the air and very possibly save the lives of ground fighters. "When a cooperative agency like the state of Texas needs us , we're there," said Forestry pilot Jon Bourke.

Some like California crewman Jordan Reeser have now fought natural disasters involving fire and water. "We were filling sand bags a few days ago before my arrival here saving homes and businesses, then got the call to come down here and help on the fire realm," said Reeser.

There is no margin for error fighting from the air. Water drops are made very near the fire and anything could go wrong. The men who do this know the risks. "We'll do anything and everything to keep our people safe on the ground and in the air," Spidell said.

Around 18 acres were scorched in today's blaze in Harrison County. Forestry Service helicopters are staged in Mount Pleasant, Atlanta, Palestine, Lufkin and Marshall.

Bob Hallmark reporting, bhallmark@kltv.com

  • NewsMore>>

  • Tyler Lee's Chance Amie commits to Houston

    Tyler Lee's Chance Amie commits to Houston

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 10:56 PM EDT2017-06-28 02:56:30 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    Tyler Lee 2018 senior Chance Amie announced his commitment to Houston via Twitter. Amie chose the Cougars over 17 other offers including Iowa State, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Virginia. Should Amie sign in the next coming months, the Red Raiders’ signal-caller would be the third local quarterback signed by the Cougars, joining Greg Ward Jr. (2013) and Bryson Smith (2017). Amie completed 97 of 180 passes for 1,556 yards and 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions last...More >>
    Tyler Lee 2018 senior Chance Amie announced his commitment to Houston via Twitter. Amie chose the Cougars over 17 other offers including Iowa State, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Virginia. Should Amie sign in the next coming months, the Red Raiders’ signal-caller would be the third local quarterback signed by the Cougars, joining Greg Ward Jr. (2013) and Bryson Smith (2017). Amie completed 97 of 180 passes for 1,556 yards and 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions last...More >>
  • Hopkins County Sheriff's Office: Escaped inmate, other in custody after planned escape

    Hopkins County Sheriff's Office: Escaped inmate, other in custody after planned escape

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 10:39 PM EDT2017-06-28 02:39:58 GMT
    (Source: Hopkins County Sheriff's Office)(Source: Hopkins County Sheriff's Office)

    Officials have found and taken into custody the escaped inmate from Hopkins County.  

    More >>

    Officials have found and taken into custody the escaped inmate from Hopkins County.  

    More >>
  • Longview finds a balance offense to make first 7-on-7 appearance since 2013

    Longview finds a balance offense to make first 7-on-7 appearance since 2013

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 10:31 PM EDT2017-06-28 02:31:22 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff
    For the most part 7-on-7 can be a fair indicator of how well a team is shaping up. Do they need a lot or a little work. Unless you're the Longview Lobos.  The Lobos have always been so strong at the run game, that they could have a terrible 7-on-7 season and still come out dominating on Friday nights.  But what would happen, if the Lobos got balanced?  Well District 11-6A better start prepping, because for the first time since 2013 the Lobos have a stable pass ga...More >>
    For the most part 7-on-7 can be a fair indicator of how well a team is shaping up. Do they need a lot or a little work. Unless you're the Longview Lobos.  The Lobos have always been so strong at the run game, that they could have a terrible 7-on-7 season and still come out dominating on Friday nights.  But what would happen, if the Lobos got balanced?  Well District 11-6A better start prepping, because for the first time since 2013 the Lobos have a stable pass ga...More >>
Powered by Frankly