Fires out of control in Nacogdoches, Houston counties - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

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Fires out of control in Nacogdoches, Houston counties

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NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Firefighters in Nacogdoches County are now fighting four wildfires in the county.

A fire in Houston County has also gone out of control, thanks to the high winds.

On FM 343 in the Cushing area, winds started picking up around 11 a.m. and firefighters scurried to move equipment and stations to a safer place.

Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas said officials have evacuated the community of Upshaw as the winds seemed to have pushed the fire in an eastern direction. He said the swirling winds make it tough to predict where it is going.

Kerss said he has requested more resources from the Texas Forest Service, but they are hard to come by as personnel and resources are stretched thin across the state.

The fire started around 7 p.m. Sunday and TxDOT officials have closed a stretch of FM 343, between County Road 1648 and the Cherokee County line, Sgt. Bill Baker with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office said.

Ralph Cullom with the Texas Forest Service said the fire is spread over 150 acres and 60 residences have been evacuated. Officials are trying to set up a command post in the Lilbert community.

Red Cross has set up an evacuation center in Nacogdoches.

TxDOT has set up a barrier on the intersection of County Road 1648 and is directing drivers to either turn around or turn right on CR 1648.

Baker said some homes in the Lilbert community were evacuated Sunday night, and at around 11 a.m., officials were trying to evacuate a few more homes after the winds picked up and began pushing the fire southeast on FM 343.

Anyone interested in delivering food and water to firefighters can take it to the Lilbert Methodist Baptist Church fellowship hall.

Kerss said a vehicle accident has started a fire on County Road 848, just a few miles from the one on FM 343. A third is burning on FM 2782, near the SFA Experimental Forest, which is close to containment. A fourth is burning near the intersection of State Highway 103 and FM 95.

The fire on State Highway 7 in Houston County is out of control again, according to a dispatcher with the Houston County Sheriff's Office. Authorities have evacuated homes on the road between FM 232 and U.S. 287.

Spradling said the fire has burned 205 acres and destroyed two homes. Many structures are threatened as the fire has jumped multiple roads.

Anyone interested in donating to those firefighters can bring food and water to the Crockett Fire Department.

Another fire in Rusk County, near Mt. Enterprise, has burned 150 acres and threatened numerous homes, while destroying one home.

Sunday's high winds have fires spreading across the state. According to a story on KLTV.com, the Gregg County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that a 20-year-old woman and her 18-month-old child died when they could not escape their burning home between Gladewater and Liberty City. A family confirmed the identities as Valerie McBride and Kloe Jane McBride.

The fire started outside the home, and consumed the house.

Authorities say the fires were propelled partly by the high winds caused by Tropical Storm Lee. Thousands of acres were burned in eastern and central parts of the state.

Authorities say a wildfire burning southeast of Austin, Texas, has destroyed about 300 homes and is advancing unchecked through parched ranchland along a 16-mile front.

Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Jan Amen said Monday that firefighters have been unable to begin containing the blaze in Bastrop County. The forest service says the fire has destroyed as many as 300 homes and scorched more than 17,500 acres.

The fire is roughly 30 miles from Austin and is moving away from the city. KVUE-TV in Austin reports that nearly half of the 6,000-acre Bastrop State Park has burned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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