Texas Panhandle Wildfire Destroys Homes, Forces Evacuations

By Mark Leberfinger, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
May 13, 2014; 4:52 AM ET
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Mandatory evacuations were ordered after a wildfire broke out late Sunday afternoon in Hutchinson County, Texas, officials said.

While the fire was approximately 75 percent contained as of Monday morning, nearly 75 homes were destroyed, according to an Associated Press article.

Set in an area between Sanford and Fritch, Texas, thousands of people were evacuated from their homes on Sunday due to the fire threat.

Late Sunday night, the Hutchinson County Emergency Management Agency reported that officials were allowing Sanford residents to return to their homes but all other areas were to remain evacuated into Monday.

A wildfire burns along Lake Meredith at Sanford, Texas, northeast of Amarillo, on Sunday, May 11, 2014. (Facebook Photo/Hutchinson County LEPC Emergency Notification )

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Texas Highway 136 was closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles between Fritch and Amarillo.

The fire caused classes in the Sanford-Fritch Independent School District to be canceled on Monday, according to the ISD's Twitter feed.

Hutchinson County is part of an extreme drought area, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

With the area already in a drought situation, no rain is expected to aid containment efforts on Monday.

"Unfortunately, winds will be an issue Monday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister said. "Winds from the north at 20 to 30 mph and wind gusts up between 35 and 40 mph are possible."

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