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Texas

Wildfire Burns Small Texas Panhandle Town

A bull tries to escape a running wildfire on April 19, 2011 in Graford, Texas. (credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

A bull tries to escape a running wildfire on April 19, 2011 in Graford, Texas. (credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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FRITCH (AP) - Emergency officials said that about 75 homes were destroyed, and hundreds of people have evacuated the area, after a wildfire burned near a small town in the Texas Panhandle.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in an email late Sunday that no one has been hurt in the fire that started that afternoon near Fritch, some 30 miles northeast of Amarillo. The agency did not provide information on the size of the blaze or firefighting efforts early Monday.

Hutchinson County emergency management coordinator Danny Richards stated that about 75 homes have been destroyed and hundreds of the town’s 2,100 residents have left the area. Some stayed at a school gymnasium. About 40 evacuees spent the night at a high school gymnasium.

An official with the Sanford-Fritch Independent School District said that classes were canceled on Monday due to the fire. Superintendent Jim McClellan said that the gymnasium was opened to evacuees soon after the fire started Sunday afternoon. McClellan said that several students and staff members lost houses in the fire.

Sr. Trooper Chris Ray had no immediate update Monday on how much property has burned.

The National Weather Service said that winds were gusting up to 30 mph in the area early Monday with temperatures in the 40s.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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