MONTAGUE COUNTY - Fire departments have taken control of a brush fire burning in western Montague County, along U.S. 287 north of Bowie Tuesday.

The fire was estimated to have consumed 2,500 acres at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, but the fast-growing blaze was estimated at 5,000 acres at 5 p.m.

The fire began in Clay County south of Bellevue, but spread very quickly due to high winds. News 8 photojournalist Gary Ultee in HD Chopper 8 said it was the fastest-moving fire he's seen this summer.

It jumped over FM 174, then Highway 287and approached Highway 81 Tuesday afternoon.

Whatever it comes to, it's going over it, said volunteer firefighter Derek Thayer.

Highway 287 was closed Tuesday afternoon between Bowie and Bellevue, but it was expected to be reopened Tuesday evening.

Firefighters are now fighting hot spots that flare up with each gust of wind. Thayer said they were expecting the worst Tuesday, and hoping for the best.

i was hoping it wouldn't happen, but I knew if we got a fire, it was gonna be a big one, Thayer said.

Fire crews called in heavy bulldozers to knock down brush and air support from planes and a helicopter. When the fire approached Highway 81, crews set a 'back fire.' The combination of those measures brought the fire under control.

Authorities said 10 families were evacuated from the path of the fire and sixty more were on standby, but were not evacuated.

Two barns were consumed by the fire and there have been reports two mobile homes were destroyed, though that has not been officially confirmed. There have been no reports of injuries.


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