Wildfires Burn – No Relief in Sight
Adding to the more than 3.5 million acres that have burned in Texas this year, a relentless string of wildfires has burned more than 14 thousand acres in nine east Texas counties since the weekend.
In the past week, the Texas Forest Service has responded to 181 fires across Texas for 118,413 acres, including a Labor Day weekend fire in Cass County, about 30 miles northeast of Lake O’ The Pines, that claimed about 15,000 acres by Tuesday.
Since Sunday, more than 700 homes have been destroyed in fires across the state.
The largest was a 5,000-acre fire that started Saturday in Anderson County. The second-largest was a 2,500-acre fire near Diana in Upshur County.
Over Labor Day weekend, TFS responded to four fires in Gregg County that killed two people, burned numerous homes, exploded two fuel tanks and scorched more than 1,000 acres.
While many of the fires were caused by downed power lines, several large fires, including one in Smith County, were sparked by people breaking the burn ban.
An afternoon of outdoor grilling on Labor Day sparked a fire in eastern Smith County, destroying several homes, forcing evacuations and shutting down Texas Highway 31.