Wildfire ravages Texas town, counties

MATADOR, Texas, March 1 (UPI) -- Close to 120,000 acres in Garza and Motley counties in Texas were destroyed by wild fires, the National Weather Service said.

At least 5 pillars of smoke were visible between Matador and Roaring Springs, and flames could be seen more than 3,000 feet above the burning ground, KCBD-TV, Lubbock, Texas, reported Monday.


Most of the damage occurred in Motley County. From the air, it could be seen how close the fires came to the 750 residents of Matador. Two homes were damaged, the TV station reported.

"We are fortunate we didn't lose any houses. We lost some out buildings and some equipment. We were able to stop the head fire going east and now we have the north winds. So we are working on the south side of the fire and now we have people working on the north front," said Craig Turner, assistant chief of the Matador Volunteer Fire Department.

Matador was evacuated Sunday, and in five hours approximately 40,000 acres burned. The residents were allowed back in Monday.

Vehicles blocked roads in the fire's path, and in certain areas, the dirt roads made by construction crews seemed to have contained the fires, fire officials said.


The TV station's flight crew said those in its plane a mile above the ground could still smell the smoke.

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