Fire crews are still on the scene of a wildfire that has destroyed a number of homes, buildings and farm equipment south of Paxton.
*Update: Chief Kyle Gartrell reported, at 2:50pm MDT, that the fire was fully contained and crews were finally returning home. Chief Gartrell thanked the public for their help with pay loaders and other assistance. He also thanked all of the other agencies and businesses that responded to the fire.
According to a press release from Keith County Emergency Manager Pete Peterson, the fire began a mile north of Interstate 80 between Paxton and Roscoe just after 2pm Thursday. High winds fanned the flames, which jumped I-80 and continued on a southeast path.
Shortly after the fire began spreading, Paxton Fire Chief Kyle Gartrell, the Incident Commander, issued an evacuation notice for residents and businesses in the path of the fire.
As of early Friday morning, the fire had burned an estimated 10,000 acres. It has also destroyed two occupied homes, one unoccupied home, various outbuildings, several pieces of farm implements, and several power poles. No residents were injured, however the press release says at least three firefighters developed eye problems and one of the firefighters was treated for an “unknown illness”.
The fire pushed southeast of the original ignition point into Perkins County. As of midnight Thursday night, the fire was “mostly contained” with “mop up” activities taking place.
Chief Gartrell called for the public’s help Friday in providing heavy equipment to help strengthen fire lines in hopes of keeping the fire contained.
A total of 27 fire departments, multiple law enforcement agencies, and a handful of businesses and residents assisted in fighting the fire.
An exact cause of the fire is being investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s office.
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