Weather conditions continue to fuel wildfires in Texas

The biggest threat in this cluster of fires was the Kidd Fire, which consumed more than 42,000 acres and was 40% contained Sunday. This ...

The biggest threat in this cluster of fires was the Kidd Fire, which consumed more than 42,000 acres and was 40% contained Sunday. This fire destroyed more than 140 structures, including homes and businesses.

The town of Carbon in Eastland County lost nearly 90 homes according to a local official’s tally, and other small towns in the county, including Ranger and Gorman, also suffered damage.

Although Saturday’s conditions brought a brief respite, winds and temperatures increased and humidity levels dropped on Sunday, said Texas A&M Forest Service spokesman Angel Lopez Portillo. Mr Portillo added that he was not sure how long it would take to bring the fire at the Eastland complex further under control.

“We’re not out of the woods at all,” Eastland Fire Department Chief Joe Williamson said.

Chief Williamson, who is the local incident commander for the Kidd Fire, said in an interview from the fire area on Sunday that increasing winds were blowing embers from active fires into unburned areas. “Our conditions are deteriorating quite quickly,” he said.

Chief Williamson, a firefighter for 32 years, has served as Eastland County Fire Chief for just over a year. He has spent most of his career fighting urban fires with metropolitan fire departments and said wildfires present very different challenges.

“A building is quite simple to contain – four walls of the building,” he explained. The only containments for wildfires, he said, are natural barriers, and in the rolling plains of parts of Texas “we don’t have that many here.”

Forecasters fear the week will bring more challenges. The National Weather Service released a red flag warning “for high to critical fire weather conditions” in north and central Texas on Sunday. Red flag warnings are issued by the Weather Service when warm temperatures, very low humidity and strong winds combine to increase the risk of fire.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Weather conditions continue to fuel wildfires in Texas
Weather conditions continue to fuel wildfires in Texas
Newsrust - US Top News
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