Firefighters, forestry service contain brush fire in Plum Gove

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by Tim Wetzel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 4, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Updated Monday, May 5 at 8:28 AM

LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas – Firefighters spent nearly 10 hours Saturday battling a brush fire — and it’s not over. They think it will continue to smolder for days.

What started as a small fire to clear land quickly grew to 46 acres and threatened homes.

The fire overwhelmed the tiny Plum Grove Volunteer Fire Department — they called in nine other departments and the Texas A&M Forestry Service for help.

Chief Darlene Trapp is the volunteer chief; her own husband was overwhelmed by the smoke and heat.

“It makes you angry, it makes you angry. You ask them why they would start a fire. It was really windy today. It makes you angry,” Trapp said.

She blames land developers for starting a fire they couldn’t put out. Part of the problems firefighters were having is there are no hydrants out in the area and the terrain is rough, making it hard to get to the flames.

Forestry workers had to resort to hand tools before they brought in the bulldozers. At one point firefighters had to evacuate five homes as the blaze came dangerously close. Those people are back home, but folks here won’t be resting easily.

“This didn’t have to happen, did not have to happen,” Tracey Vancantford, a resident, said. “If it wasn’t for these guys here, I don’t know what we would do and we are thankful for them being here.”

Crews will continue to watch the fire throughout. As far as the landowner goes, it’s not clear if he will face any fines or charges. Forestry officials said they are still investigating.

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