Lightning keeps officials busy fighting fires

Local fire departments responded to two fires caused by lightning early Tuesday morning.Hutchinson County Fire Marshal Danny Richards said that two related fires caused by the lightning storm broke out at 12:45 a.m. The storm traveled in from south of Hutchinson County late Monday night through early Tuesday morning. The first fire was located on Milner Road and the Fritch Fire Department responded. Five acres were damaged in the fire and it was reported contained at 2 a.m. The second fire caused by the same storm occurred on Sanford Yake Road. Richards said there was a structure that was threatened, but officials from the Fritch Fire Department and National Park Service extinguished the fire before it reached the building. The fire ended up damaging six acres, but was contained at 2:30 a.m. Firefighters stayed on scene to monitor hot spots till 3 a.m. Richards said there were also a few fires south of Skellytown caused by the same storm. However, the storms did not deliver much rain to the county. “Unfortunately for the Hutchinson County area, most of the rain stayed south and [the county] only received traces of moisture.” he said.