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forestfires_clip.pdf

forestfires_clip.pdf

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Published by: Sarah Christine Moore on Aug 04, 2011
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08/04/2011

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Cure a case ofthe Mondays
COMICS
If youhaven’tlaughedtoday, youshould:
BeaumontEntepise.com/funMOrE
Today’scomics:
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See which Southeast Texasplayers were the best of the year:
Compensating a president
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Are local universitypresidents properly paid? Weighin:
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Tell us which res-taurant has the best barbecue crabs,and nominate all your favorite businessesfor this year’s Readers’ Choice awards:
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Police investigate weekend
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at the end of Big Bass Splash,
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ismakingyourelectricitybillshigher,
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MONDAY, APrIL 18, 2011
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Ozen’s AsiaBooker, right,is the playerof the year.
 Villae Mills
By Sarah Moore
SCMoore@BeaumontEnterprise.com(409) 880-0730
Firefightersarehopingtodaytohavearagingwildfirethathascon-sumedmorethan5,500acresof landinHardinCountycontained. AthickblanketofsmokedriftedacrossthethousandsofscorchedacresonSundayasfirefightersfromalloverEastTexasstruggledtobringtheblazeundercontrol. Aboutfivehomeswereevacu-atedandfirefighterstookupposi-tionaroundstructuresdownwindofthefires fora“laststand”incasetheblazebegantoencroach.Otherresidentswereleavingtheirhomes voluntarilytogetoutoftheheavy smokeandash.
Scorchedearth
Firefighters hope to have 5,500-acre blaze contained today 
Guiseppe Barranco/The Enterprise
Volunteer firefighters battle a wildfire Sunday in Hardin County on GoreStore Road in an attempt to extinguish the blaze before it destroyed anyhomes. At least 5,500 acres were scorched in the blaze. As of Sundaynight no injuries were reported and no homes were damaged.
souteast teXas tales
By Stephanie Miles
HardinCounty@HearstNP.com(409) 755-4912,ext.3
TheKountzeCatholiccommunitywasunseenformanyyears.Thatwasuntilawoman’stouchanddeterminationbroughtthecityitsfirstCatholicestablishment.SisterBernitaHessling,aDominicannunoriginally fromIllinois,spentalmostadecadeinSoutheastTexasbutmadealastingimpres-sioninKountze,foundingHolySpiritMission.“Shehadagorgeous voice,saidLyndaDavis,who wasamemberofHolySpirit.“Ilovedlisteningtoher.And whenshewouldsmile,hereyeswouldjustglisten.Shedefinitelysmiledwithhereyes.”
Sister createdCatholictradition
Holy Spirit Missionput roots in Kountze
catolic,
page 5A
ire,
page 3A
MOrE
photos of the fire:
BeaumontEntepise.com/photos
PhotoprovidedbyMaryCatherineJohnson
In 1986, Sister BernitaHessling founded Holy SpiritMission, the first Catholic es-tablishment in Kountze.
 
 As of Sunday evening, nohomes had been lost and noinjuries reported, HardinCounty emergency man-agement coordinator The-resa Wigley said.The fire appeared to havestarted accidentally at anoil drilling site Saturday and by Sunday evening hadburned about 5,500 acres,said Chief Randy Odom of the Wildwood Fire Depart-ment.Fires on Sunday wereburning on the west sideof Gore Store Road; in the vicinity of McNeely Roadand Hoffman Loop Roadand near Fire Tower Road, Wigley said.Firefighters were tryingto contain the blaze so it wouldn’t jump over U.S. 69,said Jay Hinkie of the Sils-bee Fire Department. All day, volunteer fire-fighters and personnel fromthe Texas Forest Service,the U.S. Fish and WildlifeService and other agenciesswarmed over the area re-sponding to the blaze as itshifted with the wind.“If this wind would lay down, we’d have a decentchance of containing it,” saidChief Thomas Eller with theDam-B Fire Department.“But with the wind the way it’s going, it’s going to betough.”Pine Ridge, Kountze, Wildwood, Sour Lake,Silsbee, Warren, Ivanhoe,Dam-B, Woodville, Spurger,Fred and Lumberton firedepartments contributedtheir services to the effort.Eller explained that un-less the blaze threatenedhomes or other structures,there wasn’t a lot firefight-ers could do to quell it.Instead, efforts were di-rected toward containment.To this end, Texas For-est Service personnel bull-dozed firebreaks around theperimeters of the fires, thenset fires behind the breaksto burn up fuel ahead of thefire’s progression, Eller said.Helicopters thunderedoverhead all day, carryinglarge containers of water todump on the flames.The helicopters also wereused to monitor the fire’slocation and direct firefight-ers attention to “hot spots” Wigley said.By Sunday, the fire had jumped into the Turkey Creek Unit of the Big Thick-et National Preserve.However, as the preserveregularly sets prescribedburns, using up the excessbrush that builds up provid-
fire:
Wind worked against containment efforts Sunday 
Continued from page 1A
ing fuel for wildfire, damagethere wasn’t expected to beextensive, Eller said.Overall, conditions areexpected to be conduciveto wildfire this summer asdrought conditions stretchon. Although conditions Sun-day were bone dry and per-sistent winds continued tofan the flames, the fire was“about 80 percent” undercontrol, Odom said.“The Forest Service is say-ing they should have a goodhandle on it (Monday) morn-ing,” he added.Some residents on Sunday planned to stay with theirhomes for as long as pos-sible.Carla Shutter and her hus-band were alerted about 10p.m. Saturday that the firehad shifted toward their 38-acre property on HoffmanLoop Road.They quickly shuttled theirtwo children to the care of grandparents and returnedto monitor the fire’s progress.By Sunday, Kountze vol-unteer firefighters had stakedout the perimeter ready tospring into action should theblaze encroach on the areaaround the house.“It’s very nerve-wracking,”Shutter said. She added thatthe presence of the firefight-ers was keeping her frompanicking.“I’m just happy to seethem.”Pine View Road residencesnearby were also uncomfort-ably close to the fire, but as inthe case of the Shutter home-stead, some residents werestaying in their homes — orrather, outside of their homes were they could keep an eyeon the billowing smoke overthe treetops.Judy and Don Arnold, sur-rounded by children andgrandchildren, stood in frontof their home of more than18 years keeping a wary vigilin the smoke-dimmed sun-light.“This weather is just scary,Judy Arnold said.Like Shutter, the Arnoldsfelt reassured by the pres-ence of the firefighters.“These guys have beenso wonderful!” Judy Arnoldsaid. “They had a fire truck all night in our yard and threefirefighters watching out forus... I mean, they were justfantastic to us!”
Guiseppe Barranco/The Enterprise
Heavy smoke surrounded Judy Arnold and Don Arnold homein North Hardin on Sunday as volunteer firefighters andhelicopters battled a near by wild fire. Don Roy, 11, is alsopictured.
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