The Amarillo Fire Department (AFD) in Texas was battling multiple fires Sunday.
9th and Helium Road Fire
The National Weather Service advised everyone who lives near the intersection of 9th Avenue and Loop 335 in Amarillo, Potter County, Texas, to evacuate immediately, as the fire spread over 500 acres and continues to grow.
A fire that started near 9th Avenue and Helium Road burnt the parking lots of Texas Oncology, Northwest Texas Healthcare System and the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, according to the AFD. However, the hospitals were not evacuated and patients inside were reported safe, local news outlet Tuscon News Now reported.
The fire was 50 percent contained. No casualties or structural damage were reported at this time.
AFD has requested everyone to avoid the route in order for first responders to do their job properly after there were reports of “sight seers” obstructing emergency services from getting to the area of the fire.
There was major traffic blockage due to the fire. Traffic on Coulter from the south of the hospitals to the north and in the area of the 9th and Quail Creek is currently blocked.
The cause of the fire is unknown
Twelve power poles were knocked down near FM 722, Channing, Hartley County, Texas, that ignited two fires in the area, the sheriff’s department confirmed.
The fire spread to 1000 acres and is not contained at this moment.
Residents living in the area between FM 722 and FM 354 were given orders to evacuate their houses and wait for further instructions from their city officials.
The uneven and rough terrain of the Canadian River passage might be aiding in the fast spread of the fire, the Texas A&M Forest Service reported.
Broadway and Hastings Avenue Fire
A small grass fire near Broadway and Hastings Avenue in Potter County, Texas, has been completely brought under control. The fire was unable to spread beyond 25 to 30 acres due to lack of fuelling agents in the area – the land had been cleared for construction – and because the area has already sustained another grass fire in the recent past, AFD Captain Larry Davis confirmed, local news outlet My High Plains reported.
Although there were residential buildings and vineyards near the area, the Potter County Fire Department, who worked with AFD to bring the fire under control, reported that the fire stopped several hundred yards short of affecting those areas. There were no reports of any structural were damage or injuries to life.
The Amarillo Fire Department (AFD) in Texas is battling multiple fires on Sunday. In this photo, a running wildfire threatens a home on in Strawn, Texas, April 19, 2011. Photo: Getty Images/ Tom Pennington