West Texas Wildfire Now 150,000 Acres and Still Out of Control
A wildfire about 70 miles west of Fort Worth is now more than twice as big as previous estimates, and the weather is making it hard for firefighters to even bring it under control.
The fire at Possum Kingdom State Park has grown to nearly 150,000 acres from estimates a day earlier of about 63,000 acres, according to the Texas Forest Service. More than 30 homes have been destroyed in the Possum Kingdom area, and that number is expected to grow.
Federal aviation officials say two people who apparently wanted to see the fires from the air were killed when their single-engine biplane crashed near San Angelo.
Most of the state is in extreme drought, and wildfires in the past week alone have burned more than 1,000 square miles of parched Texas ranchland — a combined area the size of Rhode Island.
The hot windy weather isn't helping. Temperatures will be in the mid 90s today with wind gusts up to 35 mph. There is a slight chance of evening thunderstorms.
Bans on outdoor burning are in effect for most of the state, and law officers are cracking down on violators. Austin police have charged a 60 year old homeless man with arson, saying a campfire he left untended spreaded to a nearby residential area and forced the evacuation of about 200 homes.