Grass fire burns nearly 500 acres in Nocona Hills area; residents evacuated for short period

The grass fire burned nearly 500 acres in the Nocona HIlls area and forced the evacuation of many residents. (Photo by Bill Crowe)

A fast-moving wildfire sparked Sunday afternoon near Nocona Hills threatening hundreds of homes in the Lake Nocona area and forcing evacuations from homes in the path of the fire.
Wildfires across the state of Texas this past weekend caused death and destruction in their paths fueled by drought conditions, low humidity and high winds. Sunday was deemed a red flag day for high fire conditions.
The Texas A&M Forest Service reported in total as of Friday agency firefighters worked on 13 wildfires for more than 71,074 acres.
In Montague County, the fire call came in at 2:18 p.m. for Nocona Rural Volunteer Fire Department and the Nocona Hills VFD for a fire on Nocona Drive in Nocona Hills, northeast of Nocona.
Nocona Rural Chief Rusty Henley said while en route they saw a large column of smoke and immediately requested the next closest department, Saint Jo VFD to respond.
On arrival, firefighters found a fast-moving fire in grass and heavy brush with multiple structures threatened. Henley noted the weather was 79 degrees, 16% relative humidity and falling and winds at 15 to 33 mph.
“Units began making direct fire attack where possible,” said Henley, “in an effort to stop the fire at the next road, Shady Grove Road. Extreme fire behavior, including long-range spotting and crowning were observed. A countywide request was made for other departments to assist.”

Read the full story in the mid-week Bowie News.

A large plume of smoke filled the skies in Sunday’s huge grass fire at Nocona Hills. (Photo by Brendan Dunn)
Hay bales continued to burn after the main fire was extinguished Sunday. (Photo by Willetta Crowe)