Dry conditions spark range fires across Texoma - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Dry conditions spark range fires across Texoma

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A firefighter tries to halt the spread of a range fire along I-35 in Love  County. (Courtesy Kendra McClendon) A firefighter tries to halt the spread of a range fire along I-35 in Love County. (Courtesy Kendra McClendon)
A structure on fire along Interstate 35 in Love County, Oklahoma. (KTEN) A structure on fire along Interstate 35 in Love County, Oklahoma. (KTEN)
An unoccupied home was destroyed in the range fire near Gordonville. (KTEN) An unoccupied home was destroyed in the range fire near Gordonville. (KTEN)
About 25 acres burnes in the range fire near Gordonville. (KTEN) About 25 acres burnes in the range fire near Gordonville. (KTEN)

Grass fires burned hundreds of acres across Texoma on Monday, damaging or destroying homes as dangerously dry weather conditions persisted on both sides of the Red River.

In Love County, Oklahoma, northbound lanes of of Interstate 35 at State Highway 153 near Thackerville were shut down on Monday afternoon as a range fire raged.

At least a half-dozen homes on the east side of the interstate near mile marker 6 were either burned by or threatened by the fire.

"I think it is crazy," said Amber Rains, whose child was evacuated as the fire approached. She and others watched helplessly on the side of the road watching, hoping the relentless flames it didn't destroy the place her family calls home.

"My heart sunk because I've lived in this community for a long time," she said. "I now live in Gainesville, but my... you know, so many people I know live on all of these streets over here, and it's just heartbreaking."

Trails of smoke rising from the charred grassland could be seen for miles.

"It seems like it started at Marietta, and it's almost to the river bridge," Rains said.

Incredibly, this wasn't the first fire Rains had to deal with on Monday.

"I got a phone call at 1:30 that my sister's house had burned to the ground, and she lives out past Marietta," Rains said. "I'm helping her at Family Dollar to try and replenish some things, and my daughter calls and says they are having to evacuate their house in Hutchins addition, so I came this way to help get as many valuables as we can out of the house."

She was hoping the flames would be extinguished before they affect more homes and more lives.

"We need people to pray, pray, pray for the wind to stop and more fire departments to come in, because those valuables can't be replaced," Rains said. "My heart just breaks for them."

I-35 was reopened after about an hour, but firefighters from around the region continued efforts to contain the blaze.

In northwest Grayson County, Texas, a large range fire was brought under control Monday afternoon after destroying an unoccupied home.

All available assistance was summoned as dry ground cover, low humidity and gusty winds conspired to provide conditions ripe for the flames to spread near Gordonville.

One unoccupied home was consumed by the fire.

About 25 acres were charred in the blaze about 20 miles northwest of Sherman.

The National Weather Service placed Grayson, Montague and Cook counties and most of North Texas was under a Red Flag Warning through 6 p.m. Monday. It means conditions are ripe for "extreme fire behavior." 

All outside burning and welding should be postponed; motorists are urged not to toss cigarette butts outside.

KTEN's McKenna Eubank and Brittany Breeding reported from Love County; Emily Akins reported from Grayson County

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