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TEXAS WILDFIRES: More than 1,000 homes lost, thousands evacuated – latimes.com

September 6, 2011

Texas wildfires: More than 1,000 homes lost, thousands evacuated

September 6, 2011 |  8:10 am

The wildfires in Texas continue to roar out of control, destroying more than 1,000 homes. With seemingly no end to the flames in sight, more than 5,000 residents were evacuated from the most-threatened areas.

Gov. Rick Perry told CBS that he hopes that today’s forecast calling for cooler temperatures and slowing winds would help firefighters make headway. But he stressed: “It’s still a very critical and very fluid situation.”

The fires are being fueled by unforgiving weather conditions — the region’s relentless drought conditions and high winds attributed to former Tropical Storm Lee.

The disaster continued to unfold overnight: 22 new fires cropped up, at least 10 of which were labeled “large” by the Texas Forest Service. Combined, they have already consumed more than 7,544 acres. In all, there are an estimated 85 fires burning in the state.

Some of the newest fires were triggered by power lines that were torn down in the winds, or by residents barbecuing or getting in some chores — such as welding — over the long Labor Day weekend. Such seemingly innocent activities offered just enough spark to fuel a fire.

“It’s hot, dry and windy,” Melanie Stradling, a spokeswoman for the Texas Forest Service, told The Times. “It’s extremely hot on a regular basis, and you’ve got high winds and heat and lack of rain.”

The wildfires are particularly serious in Bastrop County, east of Austin, where more than 5,000 residents were evacuated. At least 476 homes were destroyed there, the highest number of homes ever lost in a single fire in Texas history.

via Texas wildfires: More than 1,000 homes lost, thousands evacuated – latimes.com.

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2 Comments
  1. TxNmiddle permalink
    September 6, 2011 10:48 AM

    In May, ( worst drought in Tx history) Gov. Perry cut $34 mil from Texas Forest Service, which happens to be the organization that fights rural forest fires. Go figure! Some insight, huh? Rural America, be ready if he gets elected.

  2. September 6, 2011 12:02 PM

    This is beyond the ability of human response. We are and have been praying for rescue and relief. We can only believe in and watch for a miracle.

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