Officials respond to fire in Antelope Creek area

Firefighters from across the area responded to a fire in the Antelope Creek area Thursday afternoon.Yesterday, a 911 call from a cell phone was received at 2 p.m. in Antelope Creek that was warning of a grass fire. County Fire Marshal Danny Richards stated that Borger, Stinnett, and Fritch Fire Departments responded to a fire that was 2 ½ miles southeast of Sanford. Also responding to the fire was National Park Service, Hutchinson County, Sanford, Skellytown, and Big Creek. The State of Texas was also contacted and sent out was a Single Engine Air Tanker, spotting plaines, and a water dropping helicopter that was able to siphon up water from the stilling basin. Responding to the scene was a strike team that brought about 10 bulldozers and 60 Firemen. “There was a very large effort yesterday,” Richards stated. A firefighter with the National Park Service was sent to Golden Plains Community Hospital because of heat exhaustion and also smoke inhalation. There was a eyewitness that stated that the fire was caused by a person who was grinding metal. Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Deputy James Qualls stated that they have a “suspicion on who we know [was involved] but no further information can be given at this time.” The fire burned between 500 to 600 acres of land, according to Richards. He also added that the fire was contained at 10 p.m. and all firefighters left the scene at 11:45 p.m. Richards continues to encourage citizens to practice safety during this time of dry conditions for Hutchinson County.“We are in a extreme drought and conditions are very critical, so we ask everyone to please be as careful as they possibly can,” he said.Richards also wanted to thank the EMS for standing by and the Red Cross for providing food and refreshments. The firefighter team will return to the scene and determine exact measurements and dollar damages this evening. All structures were saved.