Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Battling the blaze: an overview of area fires

Multiple fires broke out in the area, and fire crews worked to extinguish them as quickly as they could.
The "Dumas Complex" fire
This fire is now 75 percent contained.
Crews said it stretched across 25,000 acres and affected two major Panhandle highways.
The Dumas Complex fire is a combination of multiple small fires that began north of Amarillo just after 1 p.m. Monday, March 6 and at one point threatened 150 homes.
The fire burned at speeds up to 30 miles per hour, according to Texas A&M Forest Service.

Source: Amarillo Fire Department's Twitter account
The Potter County Sheriff's Office said this fire was responsible for injuring five firefighters battling the blaze.
One of those firefighter is from the Pantex Fire Department, two are with the Skellytown Fire Department, and authorities are still unsure what department the remaining two crew members were with.
Smoke produced from the fire closed S.H. 136 and forced the road’s closure early in the afternoon.
Workers at the River Road Water Reclamation Facility north of Amarillo were evacuated around 3 p.m. It is unknown if any of those workers were injured.
The cause of the fire is unknown. 
Beaver, OK
Authorities estimate more than 60,000 acres have been burned in a large range fire in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Photo credit: Jason Hillman
The Beaver County Sheriff’s Office said local and state firefighters were forced to retreat from a heavily burning area due to the fire’s intensity.
Air tankers continued to monitor the fire from above.
Gate and Beaver County were ordered to evacuate to the Fairview Church.
Ochiltree County
Firefighters from Lipscomb, Hemphill and Roberts counties continue to battle a fire in Ochiltree County that burned over 40,000 acres as of 9:30 p.m.

Source: Jason Vanosdol 
200 homes were threatened and people in Higgins were ordered to evacuate to Shattuck, Oklahoma.
Residents of Glazier were also evacuated and were told to go to the Canadian High School gymnasium.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Gray County
3:00 a.m. - Officials at the Wheeler County Sheriff's office confirm 3 people have died in the Gray County fire.
An optional evacuation order was issued for the north east corner of Gray County but has since been lifted.
As of last night, no structures were lost and the cause of the blaze is unknown.
A fire in Gray County spread to Wheeler County, and an optional evacuation was issued for the north east corner of Gray County.
People in Mobeetie and Old Mobeetie were ordered to evacuate earlier in the day but due to wind shifts the fire missed the area and the evacuation was lifted.
Authorities reported no structures were lost and the cause of the fire is unknown.
Wheeler County Fire
The fire that originated in Gray County is now burning in Wheeler County as of 11:18 p.m.

Source: Wheeler County Sheriff's Office
The fire is currently about 6 miles north of Lela and I-40.
The Wheeler County Sheriff's Office says residents in Shamrock, Lela and west to the county line should be mindful of the fires in the area and should be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice.
Swisher County
Fire crews put out two fires in Swisher County near Tuila.
The first fire was west of Tulia from FM 1424 to Highway 86.
The second was two miles southeast of Tulia on FM 1318.
Those fire were contained.
The cause of the fire is unknown. 
Seward County, KS
Fire crews in Kansas requested help from the Oklahoma Forrest Service to deal with a fire north of Liberal.
However, they were unable to assist because their resources were all dispatched.
That fire was contained but is still burning.
The cause of the fire is unknown.
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