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Wildfires Spread Into The City – Wichita Falls Area In Disaster Mode

287-fire-
HWY 287 - photo by Ed Dulaney

UPDATE (4/15/11 4:39pm):

-Residents in the Iowa Park and Kamay areas are being asked to prepare to evacuate.

-Wichita Falls Spokesman Barry Levy Says the fire near Missile Rd. has been contained.

-Archer County: 400 acre fire burning off FM 2178 has destroyed 2 tank batteries and a trailer home, still burning strong according to Emergency officials. There’s a fire off FM 368 near Dad’s Corner. There’s also a fire off FM 1954 a mile east of 281.

-Clay County: Fire crews are currently battling 3 major fires according to Sheriff Kenny Lemons. There are 2 south of Petrolia; one at 148 and FM 2332, the other at Lonestar Rd and FM 2332. There is still a large fire south of Jolly off FM 2393. Lemons says all 3 fires are out of control.

-Wichita County Officials say there are fires east of FM 171 on both sides of the road. They say theere is another fire off 367 and 368 toward Kamay.

-Wichita County Judge Woody Gossum says a fire burning between Iowa Park and Electra could jump the Wichita River. Officials are building fire breaks to prevent that. The fire is in the area between Harmony Rd. and FM 368.

-Code Red notifications have been sent to residents in the area asking them to be alert and vigilant.

-There is also a fire north east of Wichita Falls that is dangerous. Officials are building fire breaks around the Conoco gasoline tank farm.

-Residents on Pecanway off 171 are being asked to leave the area. Hirschi High School has been set up as a Red Cross Shelter.

-Fire burning west of Bass Hallow at Possum Kingdom. Officials say it could burn down to the water line. Several home have caught fire.


An outbreak of wildfires that began earlier today have begun spreading into city neighborhoods threatening homes.

Neighborhoods  around the Missile Road Exit off I-44, near Shepard Air Force base,  are in the most danger and have been evacuated.  Residents should head south to avoid smoke and other wildfires.

Officials are asking motorists to stay clear of this area as well.

Residents are advised to avoid roads obscured by smoke.  Watch for detours and please avoid any outdoor burning.  If you find yourself in an area where fires are burning drive slowly, stay aware, watch for other vehicles stopped on the roadway and for fire vehicles as well.

ALL OFF DUTY FIREFIGHTERS ARE TO REPORT TO I-44 AND MISSILE ROAD WITH FIRE GEAR

UPDATE (4/15/11 4:45 pm): Wichita Falls Spokesman, Barry Levy, says the fire near Missile Road is Contained.

TX DOT ROADWAY UPDATES:

FM 171 is CLOSED at Sinclair Blvd. near old Conoco Plant East to the Clay Co. line. FOLLOW THE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIRECTED DETOUR (Delay / Detour)

Clay Co: SH 148 N at FM 2332 in Byers is CLOSED due to fires.

Jolly: FM 2393 is CLOSED South of Jolly to Lake Arrowhead due to fires. TXDOT is assisting with traffic control and dozing fire breaks.

Young Co.: FM1287 is CLOSED from SH16 to Stephens Co line. This is the road to Possum Kingdom. Wildfires are blazing at this time where Young and Stephens Counties meet. Several structures have been lost. Fire is not contained and rapidly moving.  Smoke from wildfire has reduced visibility.Closed until further notice.

Lake Arrowhead: FM 2393 CLOSED from Rock Springs Rd. to FM 1954 due to wildfire. DETOUR: State Hwy 25 to State Hwy 240. Low visibilty from Smoke.

SB US 287 closed 2 ALL TRAFFIC in Electra area because of a wildfire in the center median.LIMITS:US 287 SB from Bus.287 to Burnett Ranch Rd.

FM 367 Eastbound and Westbound is CLOSED – low visibility from smoke – No detour traffic is being turned around.

FM 1206 CLOSED Eastbound and Westbound – low visibility from smoke -Road Closed between FM 2226 and FM 368, fire and smoke on roadway. No Detour.

Archer Co: FM 2178 Northbound and Southbound – Low visibility due to smoke.
Use alternate route - Grassfires have caused road closures due to smoke over the road and no visibility. Detour around this area. (Delay / Detour)

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