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Wildfire near Jennings spurs evacuations

Firefighters converge near Jennings, in Pawnee county, to fight a wildfire. (Wilson/KTUL){p}{/p}
Firefighters converge near Jennings, in Pawnee county, to fight a wildfire. (Wilson/KTUL)

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They came pouring down the road, a cavalcade of fire departments to tackle a wildfire that had consumed 500 acres and was still hungry.

"Right now, we're about 10 percent contained," said Jennings Fire Department assistant chief Keith Buntin.

With winds picking up earlier Monday evening, fire officials urged residents to get out.

"It was about 40 to 50 homes that were evacuated," said Buntin.

"I built that house about 40 years ago, and I ain't going no where and neither is it," said area resident Larry Baker.

Baker was one of those advised to leave but decided otherwise.

"They told some of them they had to evacuate. I told them I wasn't leaving my house. The guy said, 'If the fire gets close, you better get out!' I'm not worried about it," he said.

Meanwhile, off in the woods behind his home, "They're blowing the leaves all around said they're going to back fire down in there," he said.

So far, the firefighters are winning the battle

"No homes lost," said Buntin.

Leaving folks like Mr. Baker with breathing room to contemplate the other threat from the wild.

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"The squirrels drive us nuts. Pecan tree right there, last year they left me two pecans, they ate the rest. Took 'em two days," he said.

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