Brush fires scorch hundreds of acres in North Texas

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Parker County fire on Jan. 22, 2018.

More than 1,000 acres were scorched across North Texas after eight large brush fires spread across the area.

Wise County, Denton County and Grayson County experienced grass fires in the area, but Parker County saw the worst. It shut down interstate freeways for several hours and threatened nearby homes.

Parker County Judge Mark Riley said the biggest fire on the east side of the county burned well over 200 acres. The fire came dangerously close to several homes, but none of them were destroyed.

Riley said the fire started in Willow Park and spread to the Walsh development. Two elementary schools were evacuated. McCall Elementary in Willow Park was evacuated to Aledo High School.

Texas Pythian Home in Weatherford lost 100 bales of hay in the fire. It’s a big loss for the non-profit aimed at helping children of families in need.

Michael Castillo and his wife, Bonnie, saw the fires getting dangerously close and decided to load up the dogs and evacuate.

“It was nerve-racking for me,” Bonnie said. “I was shaking. Probably shook for about an hour."

Debbie Alexander was alerted to the news.

“My husband called and let us know that the neighborhood was on fire,” she recalled.

Alexander and her neighbors rushed home to try and salvage what they could. But by then, it was too late. First responders couldn't let people in. They had to trust firefighters to the task of saving their home — and, the firefighters did. Yards are scorched up to the brick, but nearly every home was unscathed.

"As I got in here today, I was just thanking each and every one of them for everything that they do,” Alexander said. “They do one heck of a job under these conditions. The wind, it's hard to keep it contained. You never know what a fire is going to do."

"I'm just in disbelief at what's happened,” Debbie Orr said. “I mean God has been so good to spare all of the houses."

While the majority of the fires are now under control, emotions have been hard to handle.

“Close call. And they're still concerned about the woods behind our house tonight, so we may not get a lot of sleep,” Orr said. “But God's good. He's going to protect us."

Firefighters remained at the scene of the fires to ensure they don’t kick back up.

At last word, no structures were burned in the east Parker County fire. Authorities said a different fire near Poolville burned one home.

Multiple agencies also put down a grass fire in Flower Mound near U.S. Highway 377 that burned about 100 acres.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries.