Bailey County Fire Contained, But Could Reignite - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/28/08

Bailey County Fire Contained, But Could Reignite

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"The fire started mid-afternoon, about 10 to 15 miles southwest of Muleshoe.  With the high winds blowing, it took off due west and burned up a whole lot of acreage between where it started and where it ended up, short of Highway 84," Terral King, EMS Coordinator for Muleshoe and Bailey County said. 

Law enforcement was forced to shut down part of Highway 84 from Sudan to Muleshoe because of dense smoke.  The flames jumped Highway 214, forcing crews to shut down that stretch of road from Muleshoe to Needmore. 

By Monday night, most of the flames were knocked down, but crews were still dealing with embers blowing into more dry grass.

"We're putting together a plan right now to make sure we've got crews on hand if any more hot spots flare up tomorrow.  The winds are expected to be as high as they were today, and there's a very good possibility that this fire will reignite tomorrow," King said. 

King tells NewsChannel 11 that some people were forced from their homes, but as of Monday night there were no reports of any lost homes or injures. 

Possible power outages caused some concern for surrounding communities who get all or part of their water from the Bailey County water wells, including Lubbock.

"I don't know of any power loss to any of the water wells.  There has been power loss in several places and a lot of the power poles out there were burned up.  A lot of the fence poles were burned up.  There are power outages out there; I don't have any kind of maps or ideas of who's lost what," King said.

In the dark, crews didn't know exactly where the fire started, or how much land was burned.  King gave NewsChannel 11 a rough estimate of around 20,000 acres.

Strong Winds Increase Fire Danger Across the South Plains
With such dry conditions, dry grass can catch on fire very easily and the winds can spread it around fast, so officials are warning everyone on the South Plains to be extra careful.

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