January 16, 2019

Texas burning “from border to border”

Smoke, Flames and lots of it. In amongst it all lives are changed forever.

Firefighters in the US state of Texas are battling to contain massive wildfires which have burned through more than a million acres in the last two weeks.

Long-term drought, high temperatures and gusting winds have created ideal conditions for the fires to spread.

One State official has described the situation as fires burning in Texas “from border to border”.

Texas Governor Rick Perry has asked President Barack Obama to issue a Major Disaster Declaration for the state in the face of the fires.

In a letter last week, he told Mr Obama that Texas was “reaching its capacity to respond to these emergencies” and needed federal help to protect homes and citizens.

Texans are a resourceful independent bunch. For the Governor to ask for Federal help it must be a very serious situation.

A number of towns have been evacuated and even the major city of Fort Worth is threatened.

The Texas Forest Service said it had responded to 11 new fires on Tuesday, in addition to the scores already burning across the state. Nearly 200 homes were reported to have been destroyed.

Some single fires are covering more than 100,000 acres on their own.

Planes have been dropping water and fire retardant on the burning areas while firefighters have been dousing threatened homes.

The Texas Forest Service is now fighting more than 20 active fires, with firefighters from more than 34 states involved on the frontline. The trouble is the ‘frontline’ is a little hard to pin down at the moment.

Forest Service spokeswoman Holly Huffman said the harsh winter and the driest March on record have “combined for an overabundance of tall, dead grass and shrubs that serve as kindling” for the wildfires.

Weather forecasters are saying there is a 30 percent chance of rain in the coming week.

But Daniel Huckaby, a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, warned that some areas would see no rain, and that the change in weather could increase the danger.

“With the chaotic wind that thunderstorms can produce, and the lightening they can produce, that can make matters worse.”

Newsawarped wishes the firefighters all the best. They are trained for this but something on this scale demands everything they have. Thank you for doing your best for the citizens of Texas.


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