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Crews fight area fires Thursday

Area fire departments fought several fires across Hockley and Cochran counties Thursday.

Three Levelland units responded to assist Whiteface Volunteer Fire Department and the Sundown Volunteer Fire Department at a grass fire near FM 1780 and County Road 210.

Bill Durham, fire chief for Levelland, said at least three homes were evacuated.

Whiteface was also on scene of a fire that jumped the New Mexico state line into Cochran County. The fire was dubbed the “206 Fire” by the Texas A&M Forest Service.

New Mexico Fire Information reported that at least 12 homes were evacuated on Bledsoe Road in New Mexico.

That fire was estimated at 60,000 acres at 8:20 p.m. Thursday night. The Texas A&M Forest Service reported 2,000 of those acres were in Texas.

Friday, the Forest Service reported the fire was still smoldering on the Texas side. They believed approximately 4,000 acres had been burned in Texas at that point.

Units with the Levelland Fire Department also responded to the area two miles east of FM 168 in Anton on FM 597. They were dispatched around 5:57 p.m., said Jay McKay, Levelland fire marshal.

Fire departments fighting that fire included Anton, Smyer and Levelland.

From there, the Levelland units went to a fire east of FM 168 on CR 332 to assist Anton and Littlefield on a grass fire. Smyer also assisted at that fire.

No homes were threatened in the fires that were in the northeastern part of the county.

McKay said crews were on scene at the fires near the Lamb County line for about four hours.

Friday has been deemed a high fire danger weather day by the National Weather Service. A red flag warning was issued by NWS Friday at 4 a.m. and will continue until 9 p.m. Friday night with wind speeds and fire danger peaking this afternoon.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are imminent or already occurring. These conditions can create rapid wildfire growth. Due to the high winds today, any ignitions will have the potential to grow rapidly into dangerous weather-driven wildfires.

Winds are expected to be westerly between 30 and 40 mph. A cold front will bring a northerly wind shift Friday afternoon and evening, according to the NWS.

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