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Texas: From droughts to extreme heat to blazing fires

September 5, 2011 Comments off

Winds fuel flare-ups in Palo Pinto County, across state

Strong north winds fueled wildfire flare-ups around Possum Kingdom Lake on Sunday and firefighters managed to contain most of them, but the rest of Texas wasn’t as lucky as thousands of acres and hundreds of homes burned in another day of the worst wildfire season in the state’s history.

A wildfire estimated to be 16 miles long near the Austin suburb of Bastrop charred about 14,000 acres Sunday, destroying or damaging an estimated 300 homes.

“It’s catastrophic,” Mark Stanford, fire chief of the Texas Forest Service, said Sunday. “It’s a major natural disaster.”

More than 40 new wildfires were reported to the Texas Forest Service on Sunday as strong winds, low humidity and very dry vegetation left firefighters scrambling to extinguish blazes throughout the state.

“We’re very stretched right now,” Tom Berglund of the Texas Forest Service said Sunday.

As of Sunday afternoon, firefighters Read more…