TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Several East Texas counties have been dealing with high winds, which have caused about 17 wildfires, and knocked down trees and power lines.
“The winds are very significant today as well as the relative very low humidity,” said Cory Crowell the Smith County Battalion Chief. “We are really reaching out and urging people to not burn until we get to better weather conditions.”
Officials have also asked drivers to be wary of the tree limbs and debris in the roadways.
As of this writing, Rains County is the only area under a burn ban, however, officials have asked that East Texans to not burn anything until high winds calm down.
7,564 people are without power due to high winds in East Texas, according to an Oncor representative.
The areas experiencing the most outages are Angelina, Panola, Rusk and Upshur counties.
Anderson – 164
Angelina – 562
Bowie – 83
Cass – 10
Cherokee – 577
Franklin – 7
Gregg – 500
Harrison – 271
Henderson – 207
Houston – 10
Nacogdoches – 374
Panola – 881
Shelby – 37
Smith – 582
Upshur – 75
Van Zandt -3
RUSK COUNTY ELECTRIC CO-OP – 1,198
UPSHUR COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC – 1,612
Rusk County Fire Departments responded to approximately 17 wildfires on Thursday. Most of the fires were contained and they did not spread to large areas, according to the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management.
“We appreciate our firefighters and dispatchers that did a great job in the responses,” said officials.
The Texas Department of Transportation in Lufkin recently sent out an alert that FM 2251, just south of FM 843, in Angelina County is closed due to a tree blocking the roadway with tangled power lines. Officials said the estimated time of clearance is two to three hours as of 4:50 p.m. Drivers are advised to take alternate routes.