59 mile per hour winds created brown skies, dangerous driving conditions and raging fires across the south plains on Thursday. Fire fighters remain on standby in Lamb County to monitor hot spots from grass fires.
NewsChannel 11 was the only station on the scene as smoke, flames and dirt blanketed the area just west of the town of Earth. Wind apparently knocked down a power-line from a sub-station and sparked several grass fires. Fire fighters from Springlake, Earth, Sudan, Olton, Halfway, Muleshoe and Littlefield were all called to the scene. Wind spread smoke across F-M 303 forcing fire fighters to shut it down briefly.
Meanwhile, fire fighters were fighting another grass fire that burned down a house near Earth. The fire reduced the home to fire and rubble. Earth fire fighter Mitchell Lowe said, "It was just a matter of 50-miles per hour winds and fire. They don't go together and they just more or less got away from us." The family that lives in the home was able to get out safely but the winds were so strong, that fire fighters had to simply let the fire burn itself out.
Strong winds proved too much for a semi-truck driver in Abernathy. Around 3 p.m. the sky was completely brown and the winds were gusty causing the driver to lose control and roll the semi on his side off I-27. Fortunately, he was able to crawl out of the cab without injury.
|USDA Forest Service Wildfire Map|