High winds combined with a near record-breaking drought proved to be a dangerous combination as wildfires erupted across the South Plains on Monday.
Highway 84 from Scurry County to Post was shut down for 30 miles Monday night because fire and smoke were creating hazardous driving conditions. The Garza County Sheriff's Office said eastbound traffic before 3rd Street in Post was being diverted to the Gail Highway on F.M. 669.
Officials from the Texas Forest Services say the fire will continue to burn through Monday night and into Tuesday morning, and more roads could be closed. Although flames had jumped from one side of Highway 84 to the other, firefighters say they don't believe any homes are threatened by the fire.
Another fire in Lubbock shut down one westbound lane of traffic on the Clovis Highway across from the Stars and Stripes Drive-in Theatre.
Around 3 p.m. the wind carried the fire for about a mile up the highway shoulder and came dangerously close to several homes and nearby businesses.
"It was so close. With all this wind there was fire everywhere," said Amanda Morales, whose home was almost hit by the fire.
Firefighter's finally put out the blaze, but before they could leave flames started back up across the railroad tracks. Then, about an hour later, the fire started back up for a second time. The fire was finally put out around 7 p.m.
Earlier Monday morning, another quickly spreading wildfire burned more than 1,700 acres about 10 miles northwest of Tahoka. It started around 9:30 a.m. and took five hours to put it out through the combined effort of crews from Tahoka, New Home and O'Donnell, a U.S. Forest Service spotter plane and local farmers with water tanks.
The causes of all these fire are still under investigation.
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