At about the same time a red flag warning for western North Texas expired Tuesday night, a grass fire sparked near Joy that would keep Clay County firefighters busy into Wednesday afternoon.
The blaze — located between Joy Creek, Webb and Peden Roads, 3.4 miles southeast of Midway School — was reported at 7:45 p.m., and driven by northerly winds of 35 to 45 miles-per-hour. Humidity levels were at 10 percent when the red flag warning expired at 8 p.m. Clay County Emergency Management Coordinator Kent Neville said between 100 and 150 acres were burned.
High winds continued throughout the night as the fire burned through heavy brush and timber. Access to the fire was limited by rough terrain. A resident on Webb Road reported seeing flames as close as 300 feet to her home. It was the only structure said to be in jeopardy.
Sparks from wind-whipped power lines are believed to have cause the fire.
Volunteer fire departments from Joy, Bluegrove, Bellevue, Vasti and Windthorst responded. A Precinct 4 motor grader was called in to cut a fire break along a power line right-of-way on the south side of the blaze. By 11 p.m., fire command reported the fire was surrounded on all sides by fire breaks or areas already burned. At 6:20 a.m. fire command reported the blaze under control. Fire fighters remained on scene until after sunrise. By daylight, humidity had increased to 60 percent.
The fire rekindled Wednesday afternoon. Joy, Bluegrove and Vashti units returned to the scene at about 2 p.m.
The Webb Road blaze was the second sizable grass fire this week. On Monday, volunteer departments from Petrolia, Charlie-Thornberry and Jolly responded to a 25-acre blaze on Glasgow Road, near the Wichita River.