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Forest Service Blames Wildfire on Spark From Worn Wheel Bearing

The Texas Forest Service has determined that a spark from a worn out wheel bearing started the wildfire that has burned thousands of acres of forest in Polk and Trinity Counties.

Tom Pennington, Getty Images

A news release from the Forest Service gives no details, but investigators have traced the so-called “Bearing” Fire to a worn out wheel bearing on a motor vehicle.

They say it’s vivid proof that when conditions are as dry as they are now, even the smallest spark can start a conflagration that can spread and get completely out of control.

Since it started Friday, the Bearing Fire has consumed more than 14 thousand acres in Polk and Trinity Counties.  Officials say as of Sunday, the fire was less than 50 percent contained, which means it’s still out of control in many areas.

Wildfires continue to be a major problem all over East Texas.  Dozens of homes have been lost in Grimes County, west of Huntsville. In Walker County 1,000 acres burned with 200 homes under mandatory evacuation.  The “Cowboy Fire” in Jasper County has burned 400 acres, but is now 80 percent contained.

The Jasper County emergency management coordinator says the fire started when some hunters used some old butane tanks for target practice. Sparks from the bullets hitting the tanks started the wildfire.

Forest Service officials are worried about their ability keep up the fire fights. There are so many fires their manpower and equipment resources are tapped out.

Texas Forest Service.

The only bright spot in the news is that forecasters say there’s a chance of rain tomorrow and Wednesday.


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