ANDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - One of the largest fires, the 3,000 acre New Chapel Fire, is now finally getting under control in Anderson County. Monday that fire burned near County Road 404, about six miles north of Palestine.
It has been burning since yesterday and authorities tell us the fire is now 40% contained.
For East Texans, it's an all too familiar scene.. thick black smoke, volunteer departments from across the county and a forest service chopper. "We have the helicopter making water drops right now and what they're trying to do is provide support to both the engines and the dozers on the ground," said Donna Storch with the Texas Forest ServiceOfficials said this weekend has been one of the worst because of the strong winds.
"The wind has been a real challenge on this fire, very high winds yesterday and it's supposed to continue today.. Winds up to 18 mph and gusts probably in the 25 mph range," said Storch.
While it's hard to say things are looking good when thousands of acres are scorched, authorities say the fire is now partially contained and things are at least looking better."We're hoping for some relief tomorrow. The winds will hopefully die down to maybe 5 mph," Storch said.As the crews fought the relentless blaze, they got a special thank you from 11 year old Danielle who lives near by. "I brought brownies, cookies... double chocolate chunk and oatmeal," she said.Danielle said she wanted to do something nice to thank the fire fighters "The fire was a quarter of a mile away from our house and they had saved our house. I felt good because all of our pictures and stuff is in there," Danielle said.Unfortunately others weren't so lucky. While officials estimate five homes have been lost, they're happy to report all lives have been saved. "I hope they put it out so everybody is safe," Danielle said.
Officials also tell us 5 barns and about 100 bales of hay have been lost in the fire.
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