Grass fire burns through explosives plant near Zephyr, prompting evacuations

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ZEPHYR, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A large grass fire burned through an explosives plant near Zephyr Monday afternoon, prompting evacuations in the area. 

The blaze started as a house fire around 2:00 p.m. near Zephyr, according to the Texas Forest Service. Winds then carried the fire towards an Orica USA plant on County Road 259 that houses a large quantity of explosives. 

A “code red” was alerted for Zephyr at about 5:15 p.m., meaning the city needed to be evacuated. Officials said the town was evacuated due to “explosive threat.” An estimated 200-300 people were evacuated from the area. 

Upon reaching the plant, the fire affected multiple buildings. However the areas where explosives were stored on site were left unaffected by the blaze, according to the Texas Forrest Service. After assessing the damage done to the plant, the area was deemed safe to reenter and continue containing the fire. 

Evacuations have been lifted as of Tuesday morning. 

Highway 183 from Early to Zephyr has been reopened.

Around 20 different fire departments responded to the fire.

Editor’s note: On Thursday evening, the Texas A&M Forest Service reported the fire to be at 100 percent containment.

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