Staying Put in the Gilchrist County Fire
By TV 20's Alexandra Hill
In the woods of Gilchrist County, homes are few and far between.
Cindy Chapman has been one of those few for 13 years, but the last day has been unlike any other.
"I am shaking, I am so nervous. it's just a lot of anxiety," says Mrs. Chapman.
Cindy's home is one of 15 in Gilchrist County threatened by the Tyler-Grade number two wildfire.
The flames started Saturday night and have been smoking for over 24 hours.
"The smell is so stale in here," she says.
But until they hear evacuation is mandatory, Cindy, her husband and their three dogs, are staying put with their cars packed up just in case.
"Artwork from my grandmother that I can't replace, that's been packed up. Wedding gifts, wedding pictures from years ago that can't be replaced," Cindy says.
Helicopters are flying overhead dropping down buckets of water.
Division of Forestry Spokesperson Ludie Bond says, "There's no way we could put water on this entire fire. We've got to wait for some rain to come in or have it burn itself out, but it's going to smoke and smolder for awhile."
TV20's meteorologists are predicting mostly dry skies until early June
Until then, crews are hard at work keeping folks like Mrs. Chapman feeling secure.
"I'm glad they're here. I feel very safe with them right here. These guys have been incredible," Cindy says.
The fire is 80 percent contained. Fire officials are saying today's fire was caused by a person.
They believe it was most likely accidental, but it is currently under investigation.
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