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FM 171 Fire Causes Some Voluntary Home Evacuations

Crews are battling what started out as a large grass fire off FM 171.
A large grass fire off FM 171 in Wichita County that caused several homeowners to voluntarily
leaves their homes continues to burn, but is now under control according to emergency officials.

Flames broke out around 1:30 this afternoon.

Authorities went door-to-door warning residents.

So far, the fire has burned 20 acres of land.

Thankfully, no structures have been affected.

Some residents voluntarily left their homes.

Red flag weather conditions this afternoon were not helping the situation.

Lee Bourgoin, Wichita County Emergency Management Coordinator says, "The wind is the problem.
When it's 100 degrees, any sweat that you produce will be dried up by the wind and it's even more
dangerous. Even harder to dissipate the heat. These guys, you know, they're out there on that fire
and they're wearing heavy gear that retains a lot of the heat, but it's needed for protection from the fire."

Officials say once the fire is out, they're going to stay on scene throughout the night to make sure
residents stay safe.

There's now a relief center set up for firefighters where they can cool down, get water, and rest
before heading back out.

Clay County, Wichita Falls, and a number of volunteer fire departments including Jolly, Joy, Dean, Wichita East,
and Burkburnett VFD's are all on scene.

There is still no official word on how the fire started.

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