Vast Kilgore fire causes widespread smoke; prompts police to ask some residents to shelter in place
KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Police say most roadways have been reopened, except a small portion of Industrial Blvd. between Watson Road and Woodlawn. The fire is contained, but will have to slowly burn itself out, according to police.
A deputy with the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office says evacuations are underway in the western part of Kilgore due to a large fire.
The fire is in the area of State Highway 42 near Industrial Boulevard. Kilgore police say the area will be closed until further notice, and most likely all night. Please make alternate plans of travel.
Air quality is a serious problem in Kilgore as a result of this fire, police say.
Due to a large industrial fire near Industrial Blvd & Woodlawn St, residents in the southern portion of town, south of Harris St, should shelter in place, close windows/doors, overnight. The wind is expected to decrease and smoke to begin settling to the ground after 8:00 pm.
From Kilgore Police Department:
KFD is working on several fires, one of which is in an industrial building on Industrial Blvd. around Woodlawn. We are fully aware there is a fire, so please don’t call 911 to let us know about that fire. It can be seen from many miles around and is putting large plumes of smoke around the southern end of the city.
Our dispatch is overwhelmed with calls, so incoming calls are now being forwarded to Gregg County.
KFD is being assisted by numerous other departments and KPD is being assisted by Sheriff’s Deputies and DPS. At this time, the fire is contained in an industrial area. The fire department has handled the evacuations they believed necessary at this time.
We are having too many onlookers who are driving through the area. This is disrupting the situation and causes us to place resources on intersections to block traffic. Never drive over a fire hose.
The smoke is heavy and should be avoided. If you have not been asked to evacuate but feel the need to, please follow your instincts (no need to let dispatch know your intentions).
The football game for tonight is officially canceled since it’s an outside venue and in the path of the smoke. The fire is vast and fueled by 35 m.ph. winds, so we can’t determine when it could be brought under control. But by all means, please avoid the area.
Our mobile command unit is activated and supporting fire and traffic operations at the Industrial Blvd fire. We were also able to survey the fire by drone. Industrial Blvd between Woodlawn and Gulf Camp will be closed through the night.
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