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Community of Clay Co. shows outpour of support during grass fires

Published: Dec. 11, 2021 at 8:01 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Firefighters in Clay County continue to contain and clean up what’s left of several grass fires that swept across at least 8,000 acres of rural land. The fires left no injuries and no major damage but what was left is the mark of an overwhelming outpour of support from the community.

“We thought we would get enough to get all the firefighters fed but this was just more than we could have even imagined,” said Kelly Obermier, wife of a Henrietta Volunteer firefighter.

Obermier was one of five wives who have husbands in the Henrietta Volunteer Fire Department who battled flames to save homes and land after large grass fires sparked across Clay County.

“We had probably gone through ten loaves of bread and I had been to the store two or three times. We bought up all the ham they had and were putting together sandwiches. Then we were starting to worry about running out of food,” said Obermier.

There were over 300 firefighters from 20 different agencies helping to put out blazes that lasted from noon until the early morning hours on Saturday morning. After a text of help was sent out the community of Clay County immediately started donating pounds of food to keep firefighters going.

“Within 30 minutes we were just overwhelmed with support and donations. Even if we needed boxes just to pack up all the meals we had those too,” said Obermier.

On Saturday firefighters were still working servicing their trucks and making sure they are ready to fight another day. As Clay County, emergency management coordinator Keith Burch made sure embers in pastures and fields were contained.

“The forest service bought out dozers and they blade fire guards around the whole perimeter of the fire,” said Burch.

The fires stretched across 12 cities inside Clay County and even made it’s way past U.S. Highway 287 are out there is still more work that has to be done.

“It’s the biggest one I’ve seen and I’ve never seen one burn that fast,” said Burch.

“We can’t say thank you enough to the community just for all their support, thoughts, and prayers,” said Obermier.

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