Wood County tire fire sparked by nearby burning trash

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Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 1:55 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 8:21 PM CDT
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WOOD COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Wood County Firefighters were called to a tire fire in the 2200 block of FM 2659 about three miles northeast of Hawkins. And the tires were still smoldering today. Nearby residents say they could see flames shooting above the trees.

Lorraine and Robert Pedretti live across a lake from the fire. Tires were still putting off smoke around noon.

“Last night when I was coming home from church, I spotted it about 8:30, 9 o’clock and drove right past it. Saw the fire engines and saw the smoke,” Pedretti said.

He had a clear view of just what was burning.

“From the road you could see the tires were on fire and trees all the tires were on fire,” Pedretti said.

He says he first noticed the tires were piling up on the property.

“Eight months, six, eight months, maybe more. The pile just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” Pedretti said.

Another nearby resident got a picture of the fire while it burned. Robert says black smoke billowed from the fire but:

“The smoke was west of us down towards the neighbor’s property. We were lucky on that one,” Pedretti said.

But about a quarter-mile west, Gary Posey could smell the smoke, although not until:

“About seven o’clock this morning I was smelling them then, so it’s been around for a while,” Posey said.

He says he didn’t smell it in his house the night before, but he could after going outside.

“It concerns me a little bit because as you get older your health problems accumulate and everything,” Posey said.

Wood County Fire Marshal Tully Davidson said the fire was caused by a trash fire that caught the tires on fire. Hawkins, Holly Lake, Pleasant Grove, and Big Sandy fire departments responded to the fire. The Forest Service brought in a plow to establish a fire line to help contain the fire. The night before Robert’s wife made sure neighbors were aware.

“We live in the woods and if it starts burning, we could be in trouble, so everybody needed to know,” Pedretti said.

Firefighters contained the fire and cleared the scene by about 1 am.

Although it’s unknown how many tires were on the property it is against the law to have more than 500 tires stored on public or private property without a permit. The Wood County Fire Marshal has turned the investigation over the TCEQ.