UPDATE: Fire officials report that as of Thursday morning, the Marion County fire has been contained. The fire is continuing to burn near Highway 49, outside of Jefferson. The latest damage report puts the total acreage burned at 30,000 in Marion and Cass counties.
The fire that began in Cass County and spread into Marion County has destroyed thousands of acres. Captain Eddie Hindsman of the Marion County Sheriff's Office puts that number at close to 25,000. It's also destroyed around 30 structures.
One of them is a farm just outside of Jefferson. Mary Wright has lived there since 1980, raising dachshunds and horses. She left home on Sunday, after the sheriff called and told her the fire was headed straight for her farm. Now she says, "There's nothing left. The barn is twisted metal, the house is ashes."
Her property sits just outside of Jefferson. As of Wednesday, air tankers and helicopters are working to keep the blaze from spreading into the town. Three evacuation centers are open, including the visitors center on East Austin Street.
For more information on evacuation orders, contact the sheriff's office.