|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Forest service pleas for help in preventing fires
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON — Firefighters with the Texas Forest Service and volunteer fire departments throughout East Texas have enduring another grueling week battling wildfires in the record-setting drought. TFS Regional Fire Coordinator Ricky Holbrook said 77 acres burned in a woods fire reported at 12:29 p.m. Saturday on FM 942 West just past the landfill. Nine firefighters and three trucks from Livingston VFD were joined by helicopters and other aerial crews from TFS, according to Holbrook. “We have requested additional resources to assist through the labor day weekend,” Holbrook added. Forest service personnel from South Carolina are currently assisting in East Texas and other out-of-state assets will be deployed. One Georgia Forest Service crew member was injured yesterday while fighting a fire in Tyler County. Livingston-based crews have been extremely busy fighting wildfires in Tyler, Hardin and Jasper counties — some of which were intentionally set. A fire in the Jasper County community of Ebenezer had tragic consequences when Jasper firefighter Anthony Myers, 38, was killed while driving an ATV on CR 39 en route to assist with the fire at about 3:15 p.m. Sunday. DPS reports show Myers ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of a game warden driving his state vehicle headed north on CR 32. Myers and the game warden were friends and attended the same church, officials said. TFS, LVFD and Segno fire departments battled a woods fire near the Liberty County line Monday night. Livingston crews were called to assist units already on the scene at 6:11 p.m. LVFD also responded to a crash at 6:34 a.m. Monday after a “hot shot” vehicle overturned on U.S. 59 south of the overpass in Goodrich. LVFD used JAWS to remove the driver from the vehicle, but other details were not available at press deadline. Holbrook added it will be extremely important for residents to use the utmost caution during outdoor activities over the Labor Day weekend. Fire crews are taxed by the high number of fires. “Any help you can give them to offset the costs of fuel, water and Gatorade would be apprecicated.” Holbrook said his office received a donation of a pallet of bottled water from H-E-B and they divided it up among volunteer departments in the area. “They’re the ones who are really hurting,” Holbrook said.