TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Officials have determined the cause of the Sunday afternoon fires that burned around 405 acres and destroyed at least two homes in northern Smith County.
According to Urban District Forester Daniel Duncum with the Texas A&M Forest Service, pieces of hot tire were thrown off of a vehicle and ignited the dry grass and pine straw along Farm to Market 2767 near Jackson Heights. Those initial fires then spread quickly due to wind.
The Forest Service is currently widening containment lines around the fire, which is now being referred to as the "Jackson Complex Fire," and checking spots that appear smoky. They are most concerned with areas east of County Road 2908 and north of FM 2767.
The Jackson Heights Volunteer Fire Department is urging residents to be cautious of fire trucks and firemen still in the area Monday.
Residents of approximately 60 homes began evacuating shortly before noon on Sunday. At least two homes on CR 2908 burned to the ground, with reports of two other structures and multiple vehicles destroyed by fire. One of the homes was partially completed and unoccupied.
The fire is now 100% contained.
Other fires in the area include a blaze on FM 2767 in Smith County, which burned 40 acres and is 100% contained. There is also a fire in Camp County near Lake Bob Sandlin, which burned 48 acres and is 100% contained. Eight homes were threatened by that fire.