Wildfires Consume Several Acres In West Texas
KSCB News - February 28, 2011 3:51 pm
Several wildfires burned in West Texas over the weekend with the largest fire burning about 30,000 acres in the Panhandle northeast of Amarillo, destroying 27 homes and damaging seven others, Kearney said. A local kennel also was burned, but it was unclear how many animals died, said local emergency management spokeswoman Donna Makkhavane.
One of those homes belonged to Daniel Cook, a volunteer firefighter in Palisades. He said he heard the news over the radio.
Cook, 34, was staying at a shelter in a church south of Amarillo that was set up after residents were evacuated. He said someone told him that his "whole street was ash."
"I’m glad everyone got out safe," Cook said, noting that his uncle and his two dogs safely fled the house. "There is nothing you can do. You can’t stop what you’re doing to go protect your home."
Gusty winds that were fueling the wildfires weren’t expected to weaken overnight, said Mark Stanford, chief of fire operations for the Texas Forest Service. He said conditions were "very severe."
Aircraft that help gather information about the scattered fires couldn’t get into the air because of the winds. But humidity rose to about 25 percent in the Amarillo area by nightfall, which could offer some relief to firefighters, Stanford said.