Texas wildfires: Evacuation orders in place as blazes burn in parts of central counties

Evacuation orders were in effect for parts of Eastland, Brown and Comanche counties, and no injuries had been reported so far, said Texas A&M Forest Service spokeswoman Kari Hines. About 475 homes in Gorman have been evacuated, officials said in an update to the national wildfire information system Inciweb.
“Evacuations are underway in several affected towns, including Carbon, Lake Leon and Gorman,” according to Inciweb. “Highway 6 through Carbon is closed.”
At least four fires that started this week make up the complex, the site said. The complex remained confined to 0%, the forest service noted Thursday evening.
The forest service too noted another blaze in neighboring Runnels and Coleman counties that had scorched about 7,000 acres escaped containment lines Thursday night due to “high winds causing renewed fire activity.” The fire was 50% contained, the department said.
“Route 153 has been closed to incoming non-emergency personnel traffic,” the Coleman Fire Department posted on Facebook Thursday evening. “Several houses have been lost and crews are trying to stop the fire from jumping the roads. The Red Cross has been contacted to help with shelter operations.”

State Department of Transportation officials also asked residents of Runnels County and Coleman County to “avoid the area from Carbon to Gorman to Lake Leon to allow access for first responders so that they can work to control/extinguish this wildfire that has closed” parts of Highway 6.

In an article published late Thursday, firefighters said people living north of the freeway should be able to return home “within hours.”
Nearby, an evacuation in Taylor County, which included parts of Abilene, was lifted Thursday night, the Abilene/San Angelo National Weather Service noted Thursday evening, but urged residents to remain vigilant as critical fire-related weather is expected to continue. The Storm Prediction Center warned earlier today that a “highly volatile fire environment” was expected to develop over the Edwards Plateau, creating an “extremely critical” fire hazard for this area and the Permian Basin, including San Angelo.
Separately, the Forest Service also responded Thursday to a request for assistance in Sterling County for another fire that is more than 3,800 acres and about 50% contained, it noted.
A day earlier, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the state’s emergency management division to activate more resources to combat “escalating fire weather conditions” and urged residents across the state to “stay alert to weather conditions and practice wildfire safety diligently through the rest of the week to keep their communities safe. »

CNN’s Amanda Musa, Melissa Alonso and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.


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