South Sundown residents back home after grass fire evacuation - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

South Sundown residents back home after grass fire evacuation

Submitted by Johnny Perez Submitted by Johnny Perez
Provided by Bill Bell Provided by Bill Bell
Provided by Bill Bell Provided by Bill Bell
Provided by Bill Bell Provided by Bill Bell

South Sundown residents are back in their homes after a grass fire came too close for comfort on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire erupted around 2:30 South Yoakum County, and multiple agencies worked together to keep it under control.

KCBD received reports of the smoke and ash spotted from Lubbock.

Around 4 p.m., Sundown city officials sent a phone alert to residents and businesses, advising south Sundown residents to relocate.

Hunter Berry was at work in Levelland when he received the message. He immediately went home to his wife and kids.

"Just like any other father, I was worried about my family," he said. "Just wanted to make sure they were safe. I was worried that my house would be burned down and I would be left homeless with me and my children."

Berry lives in central Sundown, but they were ready to abandon their home.

"Things can be replaced, but family can't," he said, "so we were ready to get out of here as fast as we could."

Sundown City Administrator Curtis Schrader set a boundary and sent the evacuation advisory once the fire reached it.

"A portion of the fire had crossed Tumbleweed Road, which is about a mile south of Sundown," he said. "But with the speed of the wind, it wouldn't have taken very long for that fire to get here to Sundown."

The City of Sundown even had safe shelter in place at Sundown ISD's practice gym. Fortunately, the fire stayed contained and it was not needed.

"Most of the fire stayed south and east of Sundown," Schrader said.

Schrader said they received an all-clear notice from firefighters about two hours later and sent out another message letting residents know they could return to their homes.

"In any emergency, it's all about communication," Schrader said.

Berry was grateful that the early warning, combined with firefighter teamwork, kept his home and family safe.

"I think they did a great job," he said. "We were all prepared…they did exactly what they should've done. I would like to thank the local fire departments for their hard work and them risking their lives to protect this town, and just to put out the fire in general."

We'll continue to update this story once the cause of the fire has been determined.

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