Texas Forest Service responds to 224 new fires in the past week
By Summit Voice
Sept. 14 update:
Weather may bring some relief to parts of the drought-stricken state
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Texas Forest Service officials said Tuesday that, by their latest count, almost 2,000 homes have been destroyed by wildfires since Labor Day weekend in central and east Texas. In the past week, the agency has responded to a total of 127 fires burning on about 9,000 acres.
Since the holiday weekend, aircraft have flown for more than 1,800 hours and dropped more than 5.5 million gallons of water and retardant. Six heavy airtankers, three water scoopers, 15 single-engine airtankers, four C-130 MAFFS airtankers, 13 helicopters and 17 air attack aircraft and lead planes are being utilized. Eleven Texas Army National Guard Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters from San Antonio, Austin and Grand Prairie have been crucial in the fight as well.
The latest drought monitor shows 95 percent of the state in extreme drought, with 81 percent in exceptional drought . Seasonal outlooks continue to indicate drying throughout the fall, so the drought is expected to worsen.
Labor Day update:
SUMMIT COUNTY — With no relief in sight for drought-stricken Texas, new wildfires are erupting around the state, including the 6,600-acre Ranch Fire, in Palo Pinto County, which has destroyed at least 39 homes and several RVs. Another fire in Wise County is threatening 200 homes, and the Crab Prairie Fire has burned two homes. An overview of the fire is available at Inciweb.
About 80 percent of Texas is now classified as being under severe to extreme drought conditions and the long-term outlook calls for continued dryness, with above-normal temperatures at least through autumn. Wildfires have burned across 3.52 million acres in the state — the worst wildfire ever for the Lone Star state. Six of the state’s 10 largest wildfires burned in April 2011 and 20 of the largest 40 on record have burned during this year. More info online here.
Altogether, the Texas fires have burned 3,000 structures, including 679 homes.
Just in the past few days, the Texas Forest Service responded to 17 new fires burning on 4,146 acres, including new large fires in Walker, Briscoe, and Wise counties. In the past seven days Texas Forest Service has responded to 224 fires affecting 31,541 acres.