Lake fire threatens Sweetwater homes

Smoke filled the Sweetwater sky and could be seen by other cities yesterday due to a fire that began near Lake Sweetwater. According to the Texas Forest Service, the fire was a complex of two lightning-caused fires that burned together and encroached on the city limits of Sweetwater. Hundreds of homes were threatened with 30 being evacuated. Those evacuated are now back in their homes and no homes were lost to the blaze. Numerous airtankers, single-engine airtankers, helicopters and ground resources responded rapidly from Abilene and other staging areas. Texas Forest Service helicopters assisted in the fight against the large fire near Lake Sweetwater in Nolan County on Monday afternoon. The fire burned about 3,000 acres of land and is now contained according to the Nolan County Sheriff's Office.Traffic in Sweetwater was stalled near Interstate 20 due to the fire that was very near to the Interstate on Monday afternoon. Many roads were closed and many homes were evacuated due to the blaze. Parts of I-20 were also closed for a period of time. Crews are currently working to eliminate the remaining hot spots of the fire.