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Evacuations ordered in West Texas counties because of wildfires

Evacuations were ordered in Taylor, Eastland and Coleman counties Thursday afternoon.

TEXAS, USA — UPDATE (9:30 a.m. March 18): As of 5:15 a.m. Friday, the Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System reported its firefighters worked alongside local responding agencies overnight on several wildfires that ignited Thursday. 

Strong winds and critically dry grasses contributed to extreme fire behavior and rapid rates of spread across the landscape. Fire crews continued to focus on life safety and structure protection as well as constructing containment lines where possible.

Active fires:

  • Eastland Complex, Eastland County - est. 39,883 acres, 2% contained
  • Chico Lane Fire, Reagan County - est. 8,000 acres, 80% contained
  • Edmunson Fire, Sterling County - est. 3,878 acres, 75% contained
  • Hollywood Fire, Randall County - 166 acres, 90% contained
  • Crews Gap Fire, Runnels County - est. 7,500 acres, 80% contained
  • Burr Fire, Maverick County - est. 3,500 acres, 95% contained

Photos from the Chico Lane Fire in Reagan County. As of 12:31 p.m. Friday, the Texas Wildfire Incident Response System said the fire was 8,000 acres and 95 percent contained.

Posted by FOX West Texas on Friday, March 18, 2022

UPDATE (8:20 a.m. March 18): According to the Texas Wildfire Incident Response System, the Chico Lane Fire in Reagan County is 8,000 acres and 80 percent contained.

The Crews Gap Fire in Runnels County is 7,500 acres and at 80 percent containment.

The Kidd Fire in Eastland County is now 33,000 acres and 1 percent contained.

Posted by Karey Harris on Thursday, March 17, 2022

UPDATE (8:20 p.m. March 17): At 7:44 p.m., the National Weather Service in Abilene and San Angelo lifted the evacuation order in Taylor County, including the City of Abilene. 

UPDATE (7:20 p.m. March 17): The Texas Department of Public Safety has requested the closure of State Highway 153 in Runnels County from FM 503 to FM 2132, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Traffic will be detoured down FM 503 to US 67 to FM 2132, then back to SH 153 to get around the smoke from wildfires. Crews in Runnels County are manning the closure at FM2132 at the Runnels/Coleman county line.

For the latest in all road conditions including closures, go to drivetexas.org.

ORIGINAL STORY: The National Weather Service in Abilene and San Angelo, as well as other civil authorities have issued evacuation alerts for parts of the Big Country and Concho Valley.

Thursday afternoon, an alert was issued informing residents in Glen Cove to evacuate immediately as a fire was threatening lives and property in the southwest portion of the area, located in western Coleman County. At that time, the fire was moving northeast.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday, the NWS said a large wildfire was moving east towards the town of Barnhart. People in and around the Barnhart area should follow the advice of local authorities. "Do not attempt to fight the fire yourselves," the post said.  

After 5 p.m. Thursday, an alert was issued by the NWS saying a dangerous fire was threatening lives and property in the area between May and Rising Star in Brown and Eastland counties. An evacuation order was put in place for Highway 183 from County Road 495 to County Road 436, east to County Road 135 in Comanche County. 

Just after 6 p.m. Thursday, the NWS said a wildfire is threatening lives and property in the northeastern part of Taylor County and affecting a part of the City of Abilene. An evacuation order was placed in effect for an area from south of West Highway 80 to north of Military Drive and west of Arnold Boulevard.

TxDOT maintenance crews are en-route to assist with traffic control due to heavy smoke, caused by wild fires, blowing...

Posted by Texas Department of Transportation on Thursday, March 17, 2022

:Large brushfires are showing up on radar in Eastland County. The strong winds, warmth, dormant vegetation and drought are leading to high fire danger. #wfaaweather

Posted by Pete Delkus on Thursday, March 17, 2022

Update: The #ChicoLane Fire has burned 5,000 acres and is 0% contained. This fire started in southeastern Reagan County, just SE of Big Lake.

Posted by Anthony Franze on Thursday, March 17, 2022
Posted by Sonora Volunteer Fire Department on Thursday, March 17, 2022

🚨 A telephone recall has been initiated for Dyess personnel, please contact your chain of command immediately. 🚨 US...

Posted by Dyess Air Force Base on Thursday, March 17, 2022

This is a developing story. More information will be posted as it becomes available. 

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