Deadly Texas Wildfires; Entire Towns Threatened

GROOM, Texas – “Massive wildfires raced across the Texas Panhandle and South Plains early Monday, burning more than half a million acres, leaving at least seven people dead and injuring at least seven more….” More from Yahoo News here.

ABC News reports. “In southeastern New Mexico, 100,000 acres of tinder-dry grass and brush had burned by Monday morning, forcing the evacuation of up to 200 people in two communities, authorities said. Flames damaged a post office and several other buildings in McDonald, officials said. One person suffered burns…”

KGBT 4 TV Harlington Texas reports. “This is probably one of the biggest fire days in Texas history,” said Warren Bielenberg, a spokesman for the Texas Forest Service.

Rachael Novier, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, said 11 fires were still burning Monday morning over roughly 530,000 acres. In the past 24 hours, the state has responded to 162 fires and evacuated about 1,900 people in Carson, Childress, Gray, Hartley, Hutchinson, Moore and Wheeler counties, she said.

The state has deployed 25 air tankers, 47 bulldozer crews and 11 fire engines, Novier said.

“This has been a very deadly wildfire season, but Texas communities have shown strength, and we’re going to continue fighting these fires from the ground and from the air,” Novier said. “The men and women fighting these fires … have shown extraordinary bravery, and we certainly owe them a debt of gratitude.”

Pampa Texas wildfire photo