High winds and dry conditions sends Texas up in flames- 2 dead, 60 wildfires raging

September 5, 2011AUSTIN – Sixty separate wildfires, whipped by strong gusts of wind spawned by Tropical Storm Lee as it moved north, burned cross Texas on Monday, destroying hundreds of homes and leaving at least two people dead. Authorities in Gregg County, in northeast Texas, say a fire there killed a 20 year old woman and her 18 month old daughter, who were trapped in their mobile home by flames. Officials said the worst of the fires was east of Austin, where the Bastrop County Complex fire stretched for 16 miles has destroyed 20,000 acres, and was zero percent contained. “We have about 16 miles long at this time and about six miles wide,” said Bastrop County Fire Chief Ronnie McDonald. Residents said the fire had moved at an amazing speed, driven by the strong, gusty winds. “It’s pretty dire,” Justice Jones of the Texas Forest Service said on Monday morning. The Bastrop Complex fire has forced the evacuation of several subdivisions in the county of 70,000 people. “This is a shock,” said one man as he drove out of the fire zone near Bastrop with his family. Jones says aircraft, including at least one air tanker, were dropping tons of water on the fast-moving fire on Monday. Fire crews set up a fire line at a county road on the south end of the fire, where they hope to stop its spread. In the Steiner Ranch area of Austin, a separate fire has forced the evacuation of some 1,000 homes. “We’ve had multiple home losses across the state,” Jones said. “Some of them on large fires like Bastrop, and some on fairly small fires. It doesn’t have to be a large fire to destroy your home.” About 200 homes had to be evacuated due to a brush fire in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville. Another 150 homes were evacuated in Longview, in east Texas. A dozen homes were also under mandatory evacuation on Monday morning near Tyler in east Texas. The winds sent ash from the fires flying around the state. Residents thirty miles away from Austin woke up on Monday morning to find ashes on their cars parked in their driveways. The fires are adding to the toll of record-setting fire miseries in parched Texas this year. More than 3.6 million acres in the state have been scorched since the wildfire season began in November, fed by a continuing drought which has caused more than $5 billion in damage to the state’s agricultural industry and shows no sign of easing any time soon. Jones says the number of fires burning across Texas have stretched the state’s firefighting resources to the limit. –Reuters
contribution Luisport
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Environmental Threat, Extreme Weather Event, Wildfires. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to High winds and dry conditions sends Texas up in flames- 2 dead, 60 wildfires raging

  1. c/o Luisport

    BreakingNews Breaking News
    All of Texas under red flag warning due to fire danger; estimated 14,000 acres burned and at least 300 homes – KVUE http://bit.ly/pw8HnS
    há 26 minutos

    Like

  2. Warren says:

    Yup, I posted this on August 31, I have clients in Texas and in OK!

    Read More at: http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/08/31/texas.fire/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    Interactive: Wildfire tracker

    Wildfire tracker
    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/32405104/ns/today-weather/t/wildfire-tracker/from/toolbar

    Like

  3. I have friends who live in this area, one of whom is 10 miles away from the Clemanis Fire in Upshur County. Latest new report that it is now 85% contained.

    Be blessed and Maranatha

    Like

  4. luisport says:

    BreakingNews Breaking News
    More than 1,000 Texas homes have burned in wildfires over past week, Gov. Perry and state officials say http://bit.ly/p8HXHc
    há 4 minutos

    Like

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