Some residents of a wildfire-ravaged Texas recreational area will be allowed to view the devastation firsthand as they begin to think about whether they can rebuild their homes.
U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Janice Gakin says law enforcement officers will escort residents through four areas of the fire-ravaged Possum Kingdom Lake region Friday.
Gakin says the residents will be taken through between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., with strict security to keep out looters.
Gakin told The Associated Press that 159 homes have been destroyed in the flames that started more than a week ago about 70 miles west of Fort Worth.
Possum Kingdom Lake is a popular fishing and boating community of about 3,000 houses. The area has lost nearly 148,000 acres to wildfires. The blazes were about 25 percent contained by Friday.
Regional Fire Coordinator for Texas Forestry Service Cody Ratton tells Newschannel 6 overnight right and constant drizzle is making a positive impact on the fire situation around Possum Kingdom Lake. Crews are still monitoring hot spots and moisture will lead to a lot of smoke in the areas that are smoldering. He doesn't expecting existing fires in the PK complex to burn out of control while current weather condition exist. Ratton is confident today's weather will prevent significant flare-ups in Young and Jack counties.
Sheriff Bryan Walls reports good news! The FM 1287 Fire, considered the most significant fire in the last 48 hours in Young county, is 80% contained. FM hwy 1287 is open. The US 380 fire is 100% contained.
The Young County Sheriff tells Newschannel 6 a massive fire is about eight to ten miles south of Graham on the FM Road. Previous reports from the Texas Fire Service had estimated the fire at within 2 miles of the city.
The PK Complex fire is estimated at nearly 148,000 acres. It stretches across Young, Stephens and Palo Pinto Counties. Texas Fire Service task forces & TIFMAS strike teams are actively fighting these fires.
These fires are burning near Possum Kingdom Lake, Caddo, Strawn, Graham and Bunger which all have had evacuations. 600+ homes are threatened and 31 have been confirmed destroyed. The town of Strawn has been evacuated, 30 homes at Bunger were evacuated, and several communities surrounding Possum Kingdom Lake have been evacuated as well.
National Guard Blackhawk helicopters from Austin are assisting and heavy airtankers as well.
The PK Complex Fire is a combination of four massive fires.
Assessment teams have confirmed 56 homes lost at Sportsman World, 37 homes lost at Gaines Bend, 24 homes lost at Hog Bend, and The Cliff area while threatened, has no confirmed losses. In total, 149 homes and 1 church lost in the PK Complex. An Incident Command Post is south of Strawn on Hwy 16.
Evacuation plans will come into play if the fire passes Highway 337.
Bryson Fire Complex, two fires - 7,500 acres. 14 businesses and 140 home and outbuildings threatened. 70 people evacuated yesterday. 50 percent contained.
There are currently no fires burning in Archer County. Some personnel are assisting in Young County.
FM 2178 fire (Friday), lost tank batteries and a mobile home, estimated 120 thousand dollars plus damage. Still some hot spots at Dad's Corner fire, close to Hwy 79, however no active fire, no threat, 250 thousand dollar damage estimate.
As of 8:45 p.m. Sunday, Archer County Emergency officials reported crews are monitoring charred land for hot spots. Officials said a fire sparked at 5 a.m. off FM 368 & Dad's Corner to Hwy 79. Officials said the blaze burned in the middle of a pasture and structures were never threatened. Officials said the wild fire covered a large area, but they did not have any estimates on the number of acres burned. Our crews were on the scene tonight and the fire appeared to be out.
Clay County is 100% fire free.
On Friday there were a few different fires burning in Clay County. The largest fire was located between Petrolia and Henrietta had made the most damage. They lost 4 barns and 5 homes. Only one of those homes was livable. At this point all fires are out. All the fires were put out and contained by Saturday.
The biggest fire reported in Clay Co. since Friday was south of Petrolia. It grew as big as 10 miles long. Firefighters got that under control overnight Friday into Saturday. They also worked two minor fires and other hotspots. A lot of livestock was lost. Officials are estimating the burned acreage to be around 20,000. One home was lost more than 100 were in danger. The fire began south of Petrolia and stopped on the Little Wichita River north of Highway 82. The fire started shortly after noon Friday. Officials do not know what caused it. The fire did not cross FM 2393 but came very close, burning nearly two feet from the road. Fire crews say there worst enemy battling the flames were the gusting winds.
Damage from Friday's fire: 640 acres, 1 house and boat dock destroyed/burned.
No active fires.
No active fires in county right now.
No working fires in the county right now. Frank Walden reports there were 4 wildfires in the county on Friday. Two abandoned homes in the city of Quanah were destroyed. Frank believes it was the result of highs winds causing power lines to arc.
Knox county has only been skirted by significant wildfires. Most Knox county-based volunteers and firefighting equipment have been helping King county with their wildfire situation over the weekend.
Only a few small fires; fire in St. Jo. Just grass burnt, nothing of value. No injuries.
Wichita County Emergency Management reports no major fires burning in Wichita county right now.
Between the two cities of Electra and Kamay a total of 10 fires were fought by fire crews throughout the weekend. Including one that burned this morning just outside Kamay on F.M. 1206 and Hodges Rd. It's out now, but crews are still on standby just in case the fire rekindles again.
Electra fire crews battled flames all weekend, with flames damaging three homes and close by Kamay firefighters fought flames that damaged two homes and several barns, burning them to the ground.
We have new damage estimates from this area. The damage range was more than 8,000 acres in Kamay. We're told a lot of land was seriously damaged as well as a lot of oil equipment.
4 houses and a mobile home were lost on Old Electra Road. Damage estimates are at $900,000 on this road alone.
On FM 367 three homes and three mobile homes were lost at an estimate of $1.3 Million. Vehicles and barns were also lost in this area, estimated at a $662,000 loss.
At Kamay and Headquarters road eight structures were lost. Three were mobile homes. Damage is estimated at $135,000.
One house was lost on FM 171. One mobile home, 22 vehicles and several other structures were lost.
At Charlie Circle Road, several unoccupied structures were destroyed.
The Wichita County Sheriff's Office was on the scene Sunday for two late afternoon fires.
One was on private property and appeared to take out three structures. Officials told out crew on the scene at FM 367 just west of Huntington Lane that a barn and two other structures were burning there. The Iowa Park VFD along with Wichita West VFD knocked down those flames.
Another fire was reported and let burn out along Highway 258 north of Holliday. That fire was not reachable by trucks because of rugged terrain. It sent a lot of smoke into the Wichita Falls area. Those flames were not threatening any structures.
Several homes and other structures were destroyed in fires that swept through Electra, Kamay and Northwest of Iowa Park. The Wichita County Sheriff's Department let residents back in the area Saturday morning to survey the damage.
Fire departments from the Panhandle area and other neighboring communities assisted local departments through Sunday afternoon and evening. All Wichita County departments to include Sheppard Air Force Base worked well together.
In addition, the American Red Cross working with the WFISD opened a shelter at Hirschi High School. United Way working with United Supermarkets, Salvation Army and American Red Cross provided food and refreshments to emergency personnel. Sam's Club donated water for the emergency personnel.
Lee Bourgoin, Wichita County Emergency Management, coordinated efforts on the east side of the county while Precinct 3 Commissioner Barry Mahler and his personnel coordinated operations in Iowa Park area, other county commissioner precinct crews were involved in the operation.
The Freedom Estates Military Family Housing area across Burkburnett Road from Sheppard Air Force Base was reopened at about 5:09 p.m. Friday, two hours after it was evacuated because of wildfires in the area.
Forty homes were evacuated. Flames crossed the road at FM 171 at Pecanway.
Sheppard firefighters worked side by side with their peers from surrounding communities to fight the fire. In all, Sheppard provided eight trucks and 19 firefighters to help battle at least five area fires today.
Wichita County emergency officials directed the evacuation of the housing area shortly after 3 p.m. and the base set up an emergency evacuation and family assistance center at Sheppard's South Chapel. Meanwhile, the Burkburnett School District partnered with base officials to arrange to have military children who live in Freedom Estates bussed to the South Chapel instead of their normal stops.
"Ironically enough, when the fires began base and community emergency managers were meeting at Sheppard to review how we work together during emergencies," said George Woodward from Sheppard's Public Affairs Office. "Theory got put into practice very quickly today. Fortunately we exercise together regularly, and today just illustrates how well the partnership between the base and the surrounding community works."
Fire officials report that several homes were damaged or destroyed, and several Sheppard families were affected. The base is providing emergency assistance and support to those families.
The Texas Forestry service reports the fire was 11,795 acres in 3 separate fires, 90% contained: Iowa Park West, Missile, and Holiday Fires. On the first day of this fire there were 7 homes and 6 out buildings lost with 27 direct saves. TFS resources responding Sunday was a Task Force of Engines and dozers. TFS resources have been released from this fire.
Judge Woody Gossom issued a disaster declaration for Wichita County Friday.
Wichita Falls Fire Chief Earl Foster released new information at Tuesday's Wichita Falls City Council meeting concerning those who participated in the fight against the Missile Road Fire.
Those who aided in the battle included, Bowie and Wichita East VFD along with 3 units from Oklahoma. Those units were Hastings, Waurika and Ryan VFD.
All off-duty falls firefighters were also called to that blaze.
In all there were 8 structure fire calls and 32 grass fire calls.
1 minor injury was reported for a fire fighter.
3 homes were lost, 5 sustained major damage, and 2 were slightly ruined. However numerous homes were also saved.
Wichita Falls police began evacuating homes in the area of Missile Road in Wichita Falls around 2:30 Friday afternoon.
The Texas Forest Service dispatched Task Force 7 to Wichita County, which consists of 22 men, 2 dozers, 2 engines and other support vehicles.