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Wildfire in Texas Panhandle prompts evacuations

Officials say blaze in Texas Panhandle coming under control due to incoming cold front.
By Danielle Haynes   |   May 12, 2014 at 7:48 AM  |  Updated May 12, 2014 at 8:49 AM   |   Comments

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FRITCH, Texas, May 12 (UPI) -- A wildfire in the Texas Panhandle that destroyed at least 100 homes and forced the evacuation of hundreds is 75 percent contained, fire officials said.

Danny Richards, coordinator for the Hutchinson County, Texas, Emergency Management, said 700 to 800 people had been evacuated from their homes due to the blaze.

He said the fire burned up to 1,500 acres and 100 homes since it started late Sunday afternoon. A cold front entering the region raised the humidity and helped contain the blaze.

Prior to the change in weather, Fritch, Texas, Police Chief Monte Leggett said high winds and dry conditions spurred the wildfire.

"With the wind blowing the way it is, and the hot spots, the wind keeps switching from one direction to another so it's almost impossible [to fight]," he said.

"It's a disaster, and many people have lost their homes," Richards said.

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

Follow @DanielleHaynes1 and @UPI on Twitter.
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