Fires continue to burn across the state

Fires continue to burn across the state

05 September 2011

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USA — High winds and the ongoing dry conditions are fueling wildfires throughout the state.

The biggest concentration and the latest of those wildfires are currently outside Austin, specifically in Bastrop. A fire there has burned more than 14,000 acres and is 16 miles long.

The massive wildfire has destroyed more than 300 homes and more are still in danger. County officials are going door-to door to tell people to leave their homes.

Five shelters have been set up for evacuees. Engines and dozers are on their way to Bastrop to help local crews.

At least one-third of Bastrop State Park has been burned. Officials say this fire shows no signs of slowing.

Another fire is burning in the central Texas area. In Pflugerville, crews are working to protect homes threatened by flames. That fire has consumed about 200 acres. A total of three separate grass fires erupted there Sunday afternoon.

You may have noticed the smell of smoke here in Houston when you woke up. And part of that may be due to a number of smaller wildfires that broke out in our area yesterday. One of those was up in Walker County. The Department of Public Safety says that fire burned 150 acres around FM 1696 near I-45. At one point, firefighters had to evacuated a few homes and close down the highway. Fire crews tell us that fire is now out and the road is back open. All evacuees have been allowed to return.

Out in Katy, crews from a number of fire departments battled a large wildfire off the Katy Freeway near the Grand Parkway. Crews say the high winds caused some power lines to arch and that sparked the fire. Sixty acres quickly burned up due to the wild conditions. That fire is also under control.

And another fire burned in Colorado county right off I-10. Witnesses say two homes have burned so far and fire officials have several others evacuated. The fire is about 1,500 acres in size and as of last night, it was only about 25 percent contained.

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