Texas Wildfires Killl 2, Destroy Hundreds of Homes

Monday, 05 Sep 2011 01:33 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

SAN ANTONIO — Sixty separate wildfires, whipped by strong winds, were burning across Texas Monday, killing at least two people and destroying hundreds of homes, officials said.

A 20-year-old woman and her 18-month-old daughter were killed on Sunday when flames trapped them inside their mobile home, said authorities in Gregg County in northeast Texas.

The Texas Forest Service estimates 424 homes may have been destroyed so far, including 300 from the so-called Bastrop County Complex fire east of Austin.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is running as a Republican presidential candidate, cut short his campaigning to return from South Carolina to Texas on Monday.

"I urge Texans to take extreme caution as we continue to see the devastating effects of sweeping wildfires impacting both rural and urban areas of the state," Perry said in a statement.

Perry had been slated to participate in televised forum with other Republican candidates on Monday.

More than 3.6 million acres in Texas have been scorched by wildfires since November, fed by a continuing drought that has caused more than $5 billion in damage to the state's agricultural industry and shows no sign of easing any time soon.

The Texas Forest Service responded on Sunday to 63 new fires burning on more than 32,000 acres, including 22 new large fires.

Officials said the worst of the fires was the Bastrop County Complex fire, which stretched for 16 miles.

Officials said the fire had jumped a road that they had hoped to set up as a barrier, and has now spread to 25,000 acres.

"We have about 16 miles long at this time and about 6 miles wide," said Bastrop County Fire Chief Ronnie McDonald.

Residents said the fire had moved very quickly, driven by the strong, gusty winds.

"It's pretty dire," Justice Jones of the 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. "We had some nice plans for Labor Day, and this gives you a sick feeling."

The Texas Forest Service said dozens of aircraft were responding to fires, including four heavy airtankers, 15 single-engine airtankers, and 13 aerial supervision aircraft.

In the Steiner Ranch area of Austin, a separate fire has forced the evacuation of some 1,000 homes. One woman desperately scanned the wall of thick black smoke and flames looking for her lost dog.

"I was just driving around the neighborhood, I'm five months pregnant, and I was taking in smoke and I was freaking out," she said. "I looked to the right of me and everything over there was full of fire, it was just gone."

About 200 homes had to be evacuated due to a brush fire in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, and about 150 homes were evacuated in Longview, in east Texas. A dozen homes were under mandatory evacuation on Monday near Tyler in east Texas.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Ferguson Prosecutor: Some Witnesses Were 'Not Telling the Truth'

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:48 PM

Some witnesses who appeared before the grand jury investigating the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown were " . . .

Judge Dismisses Suit on Oklahoma Execution Access

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:40 PM

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by media organizations seeking greater access to the execution of Ok . . .

GOP Lawmakers Write Obama on Power Plant Pollution Regulations

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:06 PM

Ninety-six Republican lawmakers have signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to drop the Environmental Protection  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved