TX Forest Service: Bear Creek fire largest in ETX history

Sarber Road, Jefferson TX
Sarber Road, Jefferson TX

JEFFERSON, TX (KSLA) - The Bear Creek Fire is the largest in East Texas history.  Since it started on Sunday, it has grown to consume 50,000 acres in Cass and Marion counties.

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That's the latest estimate, following a Texas Forest Service flyover using infrared technology to determine the boundaries Thursday night.

By comparison, the most recent estimate of the Bastrop fire that also began on Sunday outside of Austin stands at 34,068 acres.  While it is smaller in area, that wildfire has been more destructive and devastating because it is in a more populated area.  More than 1,300 homes have been destroyed and two have died.

At last check, the number of structures destroyed in the Bear Creek fire stands at nine.

Also according to the Texas Forest Service, six of the largest fires in the state's history have been this year.  The East Amarillo Complex fire in Hutchison County in March of 2006 remains the largest yet, at 904,245 acres.  The 1988 Big Country Fire in Shackleford, Callahan and Frockmorton Counties consumed 366,000 acres.

3rd: Rockhouse Fire, Presidio Co. Start date: April 2, 2011, 314,44 acres burned.

4th: Glass Fire, Sterlin Co., Start date: Feb. 2008, 220,000 acres burned

5th: Deaton Cole Fire in Valla Verde Co., Start date: April 25, 2011, 175,000 acres

6th: Cooper Mountain Ranch in Kent Co., Start date: April 11, 2011, 162,625 acres

7th: Wildcat Fire, Coke Co, 168,038, Start date: April 1, 2011, 168,308 acres

8th: Possum Kingdom Complex Fire, Palo Pinto Co., Start date: April 13, 2011, 136,734 acres

9th: Swenson Fire, Stonewall Co., Start date: April 6, 2011, 122,500 acres

10th: Huckabee Fire, Pecos Co., Start date: April 30, 2008, 98,168 acres

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