Texas Wild Fires Still

April 20, 2011 by staff 

Texas Wild Fires Still, Thousands of firefighters, paratroopers, pilots and bulldozer on Wednesday struggled to contain a historic fire season in Texas, emerged as flames and dozens of major forest fires burned out of control across the state.

“One thing you have to accept when you have winds of 45 miles per hour with a single-digit humidity and dry fuels, we will not let fire,” said Marq Webb, spokesman for the Texas Forest Service. “It’s a bit like eating an elephant: It takes a bite at a time.”

In the last week, a swath of Texas, about the size of Rhode Island has burned in the flames of up to 40 feet back to the landscape, adding to the nearly 2 million total hectares have gone on since the season Fire began in December.

The fires have caused evacuations in several cities, including along Possum Kingdom Lake, near Fort Worth, where at one point the fire surrounded almost the entire shore of the waterway of 17,000 hectares. According to Gov. Rick Perry, the state has seen about 8,000 fires since December, with more than 250 homes destroyed or damaged.

Near Dallas, four separate fires merged Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of three cities west of the metropolitan area. In many cases, residents are leaving their irrigation systems as they come, hoping to protect their homes irrigation.

Historically, dry weather, a lot of dry grass and bushes (that emerged after Hurricane Alex soaked the state last August), and strong seasonal winds have caused 252 fires in the 254 counties in Texas. The entire state is painted red on the maps of fire warning, fire, with names like Sidwynicks East, Cannon Fire Complex Rancho frying pan, and Rockhouse dotting the maps of reply, said Mr. Webb.

“Never in my life have I seen anything of this magnitude – the forest fires that are sweeping the 30,000-acre ranch after ranch of 30,000 hectares,” says Revis Daggett, owner Inn in Fort Davis, Texas.

Texas, which has asked the federal government to send more aid, fighting fires with bulldozers, trucks pumping water transport, Blackhawk helicopters and modified C-130 refueling planes. More than 1,500 local state, national and firefighters are on scene, and Texas strengthened its resources this week as weather conditions continued to confound the firefighting efforts.

A cold front carrying a 30 percent chance of rain swept across the state Wednesday, said National Weather Service, Dan Byrd, from the hand at the headquarters of the Texas Forest Service in Merkel. The storm could help ease some of the flames, but the danger of lightning has the potential to cause new fires.

Because some other parts of the country are now facing the risk of fire, the depth of national resources is not a problem, says U.S. Forest Service. “We are committed to the support of Texas in any way we can,” says Becky Rine, a program manager in the U.S. Forest Service in Washington.

But the logistical complexity in a state this large behavior, erratic fire, and some residents knowingly or unknowingly starting new fires have prevented the fire fighting effort.

“In reality we are watching Burning Texas border to border … is statewide,” said April Saginor spokesman Texas Forest Service, CNN Radio.

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