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PALO PINTO COUNTY - The fire burned on Thursday night, but the news is perhaps the best it has been since the fire started on Tuesday. Texas Forest Service spokesmen have a new message - you don't have to be afraid of the lake this weekend.

Right now, it is 50 percent containment, we'll get an update on that in the morning, said John Nichols of the Texas Forest Service. But we're real confident that things are stabilizing.

About 200 firefighters will stay through Thursday night to fight the fire with bulldozers and engines. Earlier today the fire spread toward Sportsman's World, but it never reached homes.

We were real fortunate today, Nichols said. There were no structures lost.

At the chamber of commerce, Lisa Pawley helped pack up hot dogs for the front lines. Volunteers put out 1,000 meals Thursday.

They leave their homes, they leave their family to go fight these fires for us, the least we can do is pay them back and take care of them, Pawley said.

Normally on the Thursday before Labor Day weekend, Pawley would find herself at Bonitaville, the restaurant she runs on Possum Kingdom Lake. But as resort owner Ronnie Lackey explained, the holiday vacationers are not here.

We had a family reunion coming in this weekend, and they had all six cabins and then one of our overflow mobile homes rented, Lackey said.

This morning, the reunion called and canceled, leaving his cabins empty.

It's unfortunate for some of the businesses, like ours that we have here, that the fire has happened, Lackey said.

The forest service is doing what it can to support the businesses, saying it is confident about the weekend.

If you've got plans to come out here, please stick to those plans, Nichols said.

Lackey agreed.

It's such a big lake that there is a lot of it that you can enjoy, even though the fire is going on the other side, Lackey said.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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