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    (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO | TEXAS A&M FOREST SERVICE) A Texas A&M Forest Service dozer constructs a containment line near the active Judges Fire in Young County Friday, Dec. 10. Olney Fire Department, Graham Fire Department, all Young County Rural Volunteer Fire Departments, Young County Sheriff’s Office, Olney and Graham EMS, Graham Police Department, Young County Commissioners, Texas Department of Transportation and the forest service were on scene to assist during the fire, according to Young County Sheriff Travis Babcock.
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    (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO | DOUGLAS STEGER) The aftermath of the Judges Fire in Young County which occurred Friday, Dec. 10, starting on Judges Road in Newcastle. According to Young County Sheriff Travis Babcock, first responders and volunteers worked for over 10 hours on containment of the fire.

Wildfire blazes in county

509-acre wildfire contained on Judges Road

A 509-acre wildfire which started Friday on Judges Road in Young County was contained as of Saturday as first responders and volunteers worked for over 10 hours stopping the spread. The state was busy Friday as wildfires also broke out in Moore, Clay, Jones, Shackelford, Wichita and Wilbarger counties, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The fire in Young County was labeled the Judges Fire and was called out by Young County dispatch around 4:30 p.m. Local area units responded to the fire which was threatening structures and began fighting the fire. Texas A&M Forest Service posted on their Twitter account that at 5:20 p.m. the department was responding to a request for assistance on the fire which at that time was estimated to be 300 acres.

The fire service posted at 6:38 p.m. that the fire had increased to an estimated 600 acres and was 20% contained and was exhibiting active fire behavior with tree torching. Crews were working in constructing fire containment lines with bulldozers at the edge of the fire line. By 9:39 p.m., the forest service stated the fire had been 50% contained. It was not until 7:44 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, that the department stated the fire had been 90% contained and three hours later was 100% contained. Young County Sheriff Travis Babcock put a post out on his social media following the event and said the community came together to make sure everyone was safe.

“Once again, I witnessed our community’s strength during catastrophe, yesterday with the wildfires. I believe we had almost every volunteer in the county present: Olney & Graham Fire plus all Volunteer Fire Departments, Olney & Graham EMS, YCSO, Graham PD, County commissioners, National Forestry Service, & Texas Highway Department. A lot of people worked hard on this extremely dangerous fire, risking their lives, for over 10 hours,” Babcock wrote in the post. “(The A&M) Forest Service reported 509 acres & 1 home burned. I am incredibly thankful for the folks of Young County. Please continue to pray for all who lost during this fire, and the Shook family.”

For the rest of the story, see the Dec. 15 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

620 Oak Street
P.O. Box 600
Graham, Texas 76450
Phone: (940) 549-7800
Fax: (940) 228-0589