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Howard County Fire Still Smoking

HOWARD COUNTY, Texas (Local 2/Fox 24) - In Howard County the fire that devastated more than 450 acres is still threatening residents.

The fire broke out Friday afternoon near highway 87 and Craig Road, burning 450 acres, one home and several sheds.

According to the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department the fire is 100 percent contained.

"We just got a call this morning from some of the residents saying there was so hot spots so we went over and cooled those down and worked a few more that were inside the burn area," said Kem Hooper, Assistant Fire Chief.

Firefighters spent hours trying contain the fire with no luck. The wind pushed the flames in all directions making it a guessing game for  firefighters. 

Days later, residents are still being threatened by hot spots that could turn into flames.

"With the fire moving like that with the high winds, there was a high danger especially if you don't keep cleaned up around your structures," said Kem.

"As soon as I got to our entrance, I was just totally fearful with how big the flame was and how fast it was moving," said Terry Phillips, Manager of Trinity Memorial Park.

Phillips is the manager of a cemetery across the street from the fire and he said he could see the black billowing smoke from his office window.

Half of Phillip's employees work with the fire department and because of the close proximity, they were able to be on scene in just seconds.

"Usually it takes four to five minutes to get to the station sometimes depending on the traffic here. In that four to five minutes we easily could have lost two more structures in that time," said Mitchell Hooper, Battalion Chief of Howard County.

"I think those guys being right here across the road and being so quick to respond had a lot to do with it now there were many volunteers that came out. these three guys were probably just the first three heroes of the day," said Phillips.

Firefighters will be monitoring the burned area for at least two more days.


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