Texas firefighters battled 178 blazes in the past week that have burned more than 108,000 acres, according to the state Forest Service


“Firefighters set up a line at Star Hollow Road south of Lipan and that’s where they stopped it from spreading,” the tweet added.

Hood County, located on the Edwards Plateau, is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. Erath County to the west is home to two of North America’s largest renewable natural gas plants.

Over the past week, firefighters have been trying to protect people and homes as 178 wildfires have burned more than 108,000 acres across the state, the Texas A&M Forest Service said Monday.

Ongoing and difficult-to-control wildfires affecting Southwest Texas are expected to worsen Monday, according to a statement from the Forest Service.

Authorities said the increase in wildfire activity was due to “critical fire weather and high winds” detected Sunday along Interstate 35.

Last week, firefighters responded to 178 wildfires that burned 108,493 acres across the state, the statement said.

As of Sunday, there were 23 active wildfires, Texas A&M Forest Service spokeswoman Erin O’Connor said. The biggest was the Eastland Complex Fire which devastated central Texas.
The complex consists of seven fires totaling approximately 54,463 acres and is now 60% contained, according to interagency reporting website InciWeb.

The seven fires at the Eastland complex are:

  • Kidd Fire, Eastland County (42,333 acres, 45% confined)
  • Blowing Basin Fire, Eastland County (est. 241 acres, 60% contained)
  • Cedar Mountain Fire, Eastland County (approx. 179 acres, 40% contained)
  • Oak Mott Fire, Brown County (4,031 acres, 80% contained)
  • Wheat Field Fire, Eastland County (7,268 acres, 60% contained)
  • Mangum Fire, Eastland County (approx. 11 acres, 95% content)
  • Walling Fire, Eastland County (383 acres, 100% contained)

The first four fires that formed the Eastland Complex Fire started last Wednesday and Thursday, the forest service said. A total of 158 structures were reportedly destroyed, firefighters said. No differentiation was reported between dwellings, businesses or outbuildings.

The causes of the fires are under investigation.

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said at least 50 homes in three communities had been destroyed.

Some relief could come Monday afternoon as the region is expected to be in the path of severe storms and could receive up to two inches of rain, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said. Statewide, severe weather could affect up to 20 million Texans throughout the afternoon and evening, Shackelford added.

Abbott ordered the state’s Office of Emergency Management to mobilize several units and put them on standby for rapid deployment, including two search and rescue teams and several speedboat teams.

The Eastland Complex Fire rages through central Texas on Sunday.
At least one person has died from the flames. Eastland County Deputy Sgt. Barbara Fenley died Thursday night while helping evacuate people in the town of Carbon, about 100 miles west of Fort Worth.

She was last heard from on her way to help an elderly person, the Eastland County Sheriff’s Office said.

Amid deteriorating conditions and low visibility due to smoke, Fenley drove off the roadway and was killed in the flames, the sheriff’s office said.

Abbott, who issued a disaster declaration for 11 counties including Eastland on Friday, ordered flags flown at half-mast in honor of Fenley.

“We will never forget his sacrifice,” the governor said.

CNN’s Claudia Dominguez, Paradise Afshar, Holly Yan and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.


cnn

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button