Wind-Driven Wildfires Threaten Texas Communities

6 years 7 months 4 weeks ago Monday, April 18 2011 Apr 18, 2011 Monday, April 18, 2011 7:57:16 AM CDT April 18, 2011 in News
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Strong winds and tinder-dry conditions are presenting more challenges for firefighters battling a spate of wildfires across Texas.

A grass fire has destroyed several homes in Austin and prompted an aerial water attack in the capital city.

The wildfires have ravaged more than 1,000 square miles of mostly rural terrain in the last week and that's prompted Gov. Rick Perry to ask President Barack Obama to issue a disaster declaration.

One of the worst complex of wildfires is about 70 to 80 miles west of Fort Worth. It's burned about 32,000 acres and destroyed an undetermined number of homes.

Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Public Safety has disclosed that a volunteer firefighter who died Friday had been hit by a vehicle after fleeing a fire truck trapped in a wildfire-consumed pasture between Fort Worth and Abilene.

Officials initially said the 50-year-old firefighter died after being overcome by smoke and falling into a ditch.

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