Texas Wildfire Destroys 20 Homes, Hundreds Evacuate

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By Emma Koonse, Christian Post Reporter
August 31, 2011|10:10 am

A fast-moving wildfire in northern Texas has forced hundreds of people to evacuate and has destroyed at least 20 homes.

The flames quickly consumed land in northern Texas, and until it was contained late Tuesday, the fire had covered 75,000 acres.

Main roads have been cut off along Possum Kingdom Lake and residents evacuated mostly by boat.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but drought and the extremely dry climate have created dangerous conditions and resulted in the widespread blaze.

Texas faces its worst fire season in the state’s history, according to officials. Much of the state is approaching 11 months of being under extreme drought, and temperatures in the hundreds continue to plague the land.

“We’re in severe drought conditions, so just the tiniest little spark can start a wildfire,” Texas Forest Service spokeswoman April Saginor told NBC News.

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Firefighters using helicopters were expected to work through the night into Wednesday, according o Reuters. KB Texas reported that the Texas Forest Service is using helicopters belonging to them as well as receiving aerial assistance from the U.S. Forest Service, and that over 100 people are involved in fighting the fire.

Possum Kingdom Lake, which is roughly 75 miles west of Fort Worth, saw a wildfire in April destroy over 160 homes. More than 127,000 acres of land was scorched by the fire in three counties. Most homeowners in the picturesque lakeside community live there during the weekends or during the summer.

A separate fire in Oklahoma Tuesday sent homeowners fleeing a heavily wooded area. Before the fire was contained, an 8-square-mile area in the northeast part of the state saw hundreds of oil-packed cedar trees burst into flames and at least 15 structures were destroyed.

Two National Guard helicopters and over 200 firefighters managed to keep the fire from spreading north to more populated areas, but 25 mph winds along with low humidity made the blaze difficult to contain.

Yosemite National Park reopened Tuesday after a fire seared over 5,000 acres, and evacuation orders for campgrounds and residents were also lifted.

The fire season, which lasts from August until November, will continue to present risks to the southwest, especially with the dangerously hot and dry conditions.

 

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