The Canadian Record (Canadian, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 06, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 7, 2008 Page: 4 of 36
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THURSDAY "7 FEBRUARY ZOOS
THE CANADIAN RECORD
Firefighters battle two blazes in Hemphill
County; authorities fear arson in one
Canadian volunteer firemen responded
to two fire calls on Monday, ncluding one on
the Roberts and Hemphill County lines con-
sidered by authorities to have been suspicious
A grass fire sparked by a pipeline com-
pany welding truck burned about eight acres
near the Eddie Abraham home on Mendota
Ranch Monday afternoon. While crews were
still fighting that blaze, a call came in, from
Roberts County for mutual aid on another
wild fire at the unction of FM 48 and FM
1268 just inside the Hemphill County line.
Fire alarms sounded here around noon
Monday, calling firemen to the Mendota
Ranch for a grass fire. Though the fire only
burned about eight acres, it took most of the
afternoon to subdue, according to Canadian
Fire Chief Scott Brewster, who said the blaze
got into the creek bed and trees.
Four Roberts County units and seven
Hemphill County units responded to the call,
and most were still at the scene, waiting for
the fire to come up out of the cottonwoods
and china berries into open range when the
second call came around 5 p.m.
That fire had started just across the Rob-
erts County line n Hemphill. Several fire
departments sent units, ncluding Roberts,
Canadian and Mobeetie. Hemphill County
sent motorgraders and a water tanker. The
grassfire burned 120 acres before it was
Roberts County Deputy Paul Sublette,
who investigated the incident, classified the
fire as "suspicious in nature."
Sublette said a plastic bottle was found at
the fire's origination point, and may or may
not have been nvolved n starting the fire.
"The fire occurred along a highway, where
technically a spark could have set it," he said.
"It's so dry, it's hard to tell."
Roberts County is already nvestigating
a fire that burned 300-400 acres in Roberts
County two weeks ago, and which threatened
the rural residence of Kelly and Charlotte
Flowers. The fire was driven by wind gusts of
20-25 miles per hour. Asuspi-
cious vehicle was seen in the
vicinity of the fire's starting
point, which was marked by
a piece of woman's clothing,
probably doused with fuel,
placed on the ground, cov-
ered with a rock and ignited.
After thirty years of in-
vestigating fires, Sublette
said, "That fire is the first I
could actually say had been
Authorities have identi-
fied no suspects n that in-
cident, but have questioned
several people who were in
the area at the time and may
have seen something that
could help break the case.
Sublette said the Pan-
handle's severe dry condi-
tions have not helped in
pinning down the causes of
recent fires. Anything that
causes a static discharge—
even a plastic bag blowing in the wind—could
be at fault.
However, area law enforcement author-
ities believe a string of fires that have oc-
curred n Hutchinson County since January
2007 are the work of a serial arsonist. The
latest of six suspicious fires occurred there
last month, and investigators are now looking
at evidence that may link it to arson fires that
happened as long as two years ago.
No arrests have been made in those cases,
and law enforcement officers and fire fight-
ers around the area are concerned that one or
more arsonists may be at work in this bone-
dry part of the Texas Panhandle.
Those who see suspicious activity are
asked to report it to either the Hemphill
County Sheriff's Office at (806)323-5324, the
Roberts County Sheriff's Office at (806)868-
3121, or simply by dialing 9-1-1. The State
also provides a hotline at 1(877)434-7345.
j <, V ^
A surface trough of low pres -
sure was expected to develop
yesterday (Wednesday), and
a weak cold front move across
the Oklahoma and Texas Pan-
handles tonight. While falling
temperatures and ncreasing
relative humidity values indi-
cate improving fire weather
conditions, continued lack of
precipitation and moderate
winds will keep firefighters
on alert. Friday will be partly
cloudy with lows in the upper
20s and highs in the upper 50s
with winds generally less than
15 mph. Those conditions are
expected to continue through
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Please vote to RE-ELECT
in the Republican Primary
Political advertising paid for by John Ramp, 10201 County Road 21, Canadian, Texas 79014
- - 1 •
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Brown, Laurie Ezzell. The Canadian Record (Canadian, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 06, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 7, 2008, newspaper, February 7, 2008; Canadian, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth252690/m1/4/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hemphill County Library.