June 20, 2011 – GROVETON, Texas – Now on record as the largest fire in East Texas history, the “Bearing Fire” has burned approximately 18,200 acres along the eastern edge of Trinity County, and western boundary of Polk County.
The majority of the fire is currently located between Apple Springs and Groveton, south of F.M. 2262 and north of U.S. 287. The fire is being managed by the National Incident Management Organization for the Texas Forest Service and Trinity County.
Available resources, including approximately 10 volunteer fire departments, are concentrated on a portion of the fire that moved north of F.M. 2262 on Saturday, and along the western flank south of 2262. Dozers and engines are reporting success in holding both these areas and fire managers are optimistic about keeping the fire from spreading if the weather cooperates. Local, state and federal agencies worked diligently through Sunday night and all day Monday to try to contain the blaze. There currently are no evacuations in place.
The highest priority is to ensure the safety of first responders and the public. While all roadways in the fire zone are currently open to traffic, conditions could warrant road closures and/or evacuations. The public is encouraged to stay aware when driving in the area and stay informed through the local news media and Texas Forest Service website, texasforestservice.tamu.edu. Motorists should also be alert while driving as thick smoke has deer entering the roadways at night.
All available manpower and resources are being used to execute a safe and aggressive fire suppression effort to protect life, structures and Texas natural resources. The public is reminded to observe county burn bans that are in place in many areas across the state.
Those who would like more information or to see a current map are invited to come to the Incident Command Post at Centerville School and ask for the Fire Information team. While the community has been very supportive of the volunteers on the fire by donating water and other items, what has been received so far is sufficient and no more is needed. Financial contributions can be made to the American Red Cross or to Trinity County by calling the county treasurer.
Doug Page, Trinity County Judge
Kris Eriksen, National Incident Management Organization
Texas Forest Service communications staff can be reached after hours at email@example.com.