Massive Fire in Clay Pushes Firefighters to the Limit - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

New Estimates on Clay Wildfire

We have new information about Sunday's blaze in Clay County.

Authorities confirm the total acreage charred from the flames totals 5,915 acres. They report residents were asked to evacuate just southwest of Bellevue, but once the winds shift to the north towards Henrietta, officials ordered a voluntary self-evacuation for residents living between US-287 and Hwy 82 near Anderson Rd and FM 1288 and FM 1134. Evacuation centers were set up during that time. Community leaders opened up the Bellevue Community Center and First Baptist Church of Henrietta. 

Clay County officials confirm the fire rekindled Monday morning around 10:45, but was quickly put out by fire crews.

City and county officials were on scene throughout the night, monitoring the flame situation. Crews confirm as of 2 AM this morning, the fire was under control before rekindling.

Bellevue Volunteer fire fighters threat were assisting tell Newschannel 6 that at one point, late Sunday night, crews saw flames stretch 100 to 200 feet in the air.  Ronnie Ewing, Bellevue Volunteer Fire Fighter, says "when we were sitting on the edge of the canyon when it was coming up you could just feel the heat hitting us.  At night it was cooler but boy, it just started hitting us and it was really hot, and we hadn't even seen the flames yet they were down low."

Most of the fire fighters are trying to catch up on some sleep so that in the case of the fire rekindling again, they can get a fresh start on the flames. 

Volunteer fire departments, including Wise, Montague, Jack, Archer, and Wichita Falls were there to help, along with the Bowie Fire Department. All have since returned home, leaving behind the Texas Forest Service and their one truck, which is going around the perimeter of the area, making sure the flames don't rekindle. Officials are sending fire service dozers to start cutting a fire line around the perimeter.

The fire has been dubbed 'The McDonald Fire.' US Highway 287 was shut down for several hours Sunday. The fire started Saturday night off McDonald and FM 2321. Crews put it out, but the blaze rekindled around noon Sunday.

Volunteers from the North Central Texas chapter of the Red Cross have responded to the current wildfire in Clay County.  They will be assisting with feeding the firefighters.

Oncor tells us they had all power restored to the area Monday.

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