Residents displaced by Panhandle fire return home

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Associated Press

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 2:04 PM

FRITCH, Texas (AP) — About 2,100 Texas Panhandle residents have started to return to their homes after a wildfire forced them to flee.

Texas A&M Forest Service spokeswoman Jessica Jackson says in an email that Fritch-area residents are back in the 4-square-mile evacuation zone as of midmorning Wednesday.

The fire was 85 percent contained Wednesday. Forest service spokesman Troy Duchneaux (doosh-NOH') says residual fires are primarily in the form of hotspots.

At least 156 structures, more than half of them homes, were destroyed by the fire that broke out Sunday.

Authorities have attributed the death of one person from an apparent heart attack to the fire. Further details haven't been released.

The area about 30 miles northeast of Amarillo is in the most severe drought stage after months of little rainfall.

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