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Residents near Hill Top Fire return home after evacuation

On Friday afternoon, a grass fire named the Hill Top Fire started near County Road 150 and Highway 83/84, causing smoke to billow into the air across Abilene.

As crews worked to contain the flames, the Taylor County Sheriff's Office requested nearby residents to evacuate voluntarily due to the continuous smoke. The fire's direction constantly changed due to the strong winds in the area.

As people prepared to evacuate, the community came together to care for first responders, residents in the area, and animals. The River of Life Church provided refuge for those evacuating, and the Taylor County Expo Center was made available to provide a safe place for pets and livestock.

Samantha Gerber

On Friday evening, Highway 83/84 reopened, and those who evacuated were able to return home. Animals were allowed to be housed at the Expo Center throughout the entire weekend to prevent any harm.

The raging flames have burned over 400 acres of land in total. The Taylor County fire, which is still considered active, currently covers over 200 acres and is 85% contained, as of Monday morning.

The U.S. National Weather Service of Abilene Texas continues to warn of critical fire weather conditions and advises residents to take precautions.