Wildfire sweeps through three Texoma counties
JOLLY, Texas (KAUZ) - Firefighters are finishing up containment on a wildfire in Clay County near FM 2393, south of Jolly.
Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said the fire started in Archer County before it traveled into Wichita and Clay counties. U.S. 287 between Wichita Falls and Henrietta was temporarily closed after smoke covered the roads. The highway has since been reopened.
Duke said no homes in Wichita County caught fire, and the fire is mostly out in Archer and Wichita counties. Archer County Sheriff Jack Curd said he knows of one hay barn that has been lost in the fire so far.
Clay County Judge Mike Campbell said in an update on Facebook that about 10 cows have died.
Texas A&M Forest Service planes are reportedly dropping water from Lake Arrowhead onto the fire.
At last update, the forest service estimated the fire is 3,500 acres and 15% contained.
The Wichita County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement on the fire:
“On Tuesday July 19, at approximately 12:15 pm, Wichita County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area of East Jentsch and Rathgeber Road in Archer County in reference to a large grass fire that was spreading very quickly. Windthorst VFD was fighting the fire in an attempt to protect the homes of Lake Arrowhead Estates. The fire was four to five miles wide at this time and entered parts of Wichita County. The fire travelled East into Clay County just Northeast of Jelly Stone Park. The head of the fire was now approximately six to seven miles wide and was headed toward Jolly. Deputies began assisting Clay County Deputies with notifying residents near the path of the fire.
Other fire departments began to arrive, including Jolly VFD, Henrietta VFD, Wichita West VFD, Wichita East VFD, Lake Arrowhead VFD, Wichita Falls Fire Department, The Texas Forest Service as well as a strike team began bringing resources to include three places, a large air tanker, small air tankers and medium size air tankers. Doziers were brought in to assist with the control of the fire.
Texas Department of Public Safety, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Transportation responded to assist with shutting down U.S. 287 for several hours due to the heavy smoke on the roadway. The temperature was between 114 and 115 degrees. No injuries were reported. An estimate has not been made on how many acres were burned at this time.”
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