Texas Resident on Wildfires: It's Like a War Zone

Wildfires Kill 2, Scorch Hundreds of Homes

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  • texas fire
    (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Stone)
    Flames engulf a road near Bastrop State Park as a wildfire burns out of control near Bastrop, Texas September 5, 2011. An estimated 1,000 homes are being threatened in Bastrop County, just east of Austin, as a 14,000-acre (5700-hectare) wildfire rages out of control, causing evacuations.
  • texas fire
    (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Stone)
    Clarence Hoffman (L) and his son, Allen Hoffman, battle ground flames as they try to prevent the fire from advancing to the home of Patrick McAlister as a wildfire burns out of control near Bastrop, Texas September 5, 2011. An estimated 1,000 homes are being threatened in Bastrop County, just east of Austin, as a 14,000-acre (5700-hectare) wildfire rages out of control, causing evacuations.
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By Audrey Barrick, Christian Post Reporter
September 5, 2011|6:56 pm

Texas wildfires, now numbering around 60, are scorching hundreds of homes and leaving much of the Lone Star State looking like a war zone, as some residents described.

One Steiner Ranch resident repeated "oh my God" seven times as he filmed his neighborhood burning to the ground.

"There's nothing left of these houses," the man in the video, posted on CNN, is heard saying as he names his neighbors' houses. "John's house is on fire now. Lance's house is gone. ... David and Heather's house is about half gone."

"This is insane."

Texas is experiencing the worst fire season in state history as extreme drought conditions continue to plague the state. Already more than 3.5 million acres have burned since the beginning of the wildfire season last November and Texas Gov. Rick Perry has reissued his disaster proclamation nine times.

Strong winds and low humidity from Tropical Storm Lee have caused the wildfires to spread rapidly. So far, two people, a mother and 18-month-old child, have been reported killed.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry was scheduled to speak at the Palmetto Freedom Forum in South Carolina Monday along with other Republican presidential candidates but the severity of the disaster prompted the governor to cancel his participation and return to his state early.

"The wildfire situation in Texas is severe and all necessary state resources are being made available to protect lives and property," Perry said in a statement.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the first responders who are working around the clock to keep Texans out of harm's way, and with the families across our state who are threatened by these wildfires."

Over the weekend, there were 63 new fires – 22 of which were large – that burned approximately 32,936 acres. The Texas Forest Service has been responding with air tankers and helicopters.

In total, there have been more than 20,900 fires in Texas since November, which have destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

 

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