UPDATED: Wildfires char land near Sundown, Tulia

UPDATED: Wildfires char land near Sundown, Tulia

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Firefighters have more fully contained two large wildfires in the South Plains-Panhandle region.

Texas A&M Forest Service spokesman Phillip Truitt told the AP Wednesday that a fire near Tulia in Swisher County is now 85 percent contained. It burned about 2,200 acres and threatened the town of Tulia, which is about 60 miles north of Lubbock. It did destroy four homes, two of which weren't occupied. Truitt said bulldozers help save 20 other homes.

A fire in Hockley County, near Sundown, also is about 85 percent contained. Sundown is about 40 miles west-southwest of Lubbock. Truitt says this fire burned about 8,500 acres.

Sundown Mayor Jim Winn says an evacuation order issued Tuesday was strictly voluntary as a precautionary measure. The fire never got within a mile or two of town.

John Carr lives just outside of town. He says while the fire didn't get too close, he was prepared.

"I put one man up on the house with a water hose wetting the shingles," Carr said. "Then I had my tractor out there and built a little fire lane just to be safe and make sure; you know you do what you can as fast as you can."

Carr says while this was the most serious threat he's seen in a number of years, it's a great reminder of how dangerous these conditions can be.

 "All you can do is just be prepared for it the best you can, but today, we got lucky today, I think. I'm just glad there wasn't any loss in life or any property that I know of that was lost."

Crews are on-scene at both fires watching the situation and putting out hot spots. 

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