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Local agencies fight fire near Westlawn Cemetery

March 6, 2012

Three separate fires broke out Tuesday along Highway 136 near Westlawn Cemetery.
Around 2:45 p.m., three fires created huge chaos. Immediately Mutual aid was called. Working the fires were Borger, Fritch, Hutchinson County, Big Creek, National Park Service, Skellytown, Stinnett, and Crutch Ranch Fire Departments. Also on the scene was Red Cross, Sheriffs Department, DPS, and the Fritch and Borger Police Departments.
Hutchinson County Fire Marshal Danny Richards said, “The winds were increasing and with the humidity levels so low, the fire became an extreme danger.”
He continued to say the fires were very close to structures and homes. One house used for storage was a total loss as a result of the fire, but was not occupied. Other structures consumed by the fires were only storage sheds on people's property.
The east fire burned around 50 acres and was under control around 5 p.m.
Two fire merged together to create the west fire. The west fire burned over 70 acres and was close to many structures.
Richards stated a ravine was used as a bump site where many shingles caught fire.
“This was a complication, because there was so much volume and over 200 dump truck loads of shingles. We were unable to extinguish this fire. Fritch Fire Department was on site all night and is still there as long as the fire is still burning,” said Richards.
He also stated officials are in the process to contact the state to allow them to dump dirt in the ravine to put the fire out.
“It could take weeks before the fire dies,” Richards said.
There were no injuries. All main operations left the scene around 8 p.m., excluding Fritch Fire Department who remained on the scene to keep an eye on the fire in the ravine.
Danny Richards said officials think the fire was caused by a vehicle. He reminds citizens to be careful when pulling a trailer or anything on your vehicle that could cause a fire because conditions are extreme. He also asks anyone with information to this incident to call the sheriff's office at 274-6343.

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