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A grass fire in a field in east Paragould forced the temporary evacuation of dozens of homes and damaged some of them Tuesday.

By late afternoon, the fire was 80 percent to 90 percent contained, said Erik Wright, director of the Greene County Office of Emergency Management.

Wright said authorities evacuated anyone who was in the 50 to 60 nearby homes but allowed residents to return later. Some homes received minor damage. None was destroyed, he said, though the fire demolished a mechanical shop.

The grass fire quickly spread, burning trees and hay bales, Wright said. At one point, flames were so high they were visible a mile or two away.

Wright did not have an exact count but said he thought a couple of people suffered minor injuries. He saw one man with burns on an arm.

Wright said he did not know what caused the fire but that the area is dry.

“We are under a burn ban right now,” he said. “It’s windy, and people need to exercise common sense.”

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