Update on fires in Texas, Sept 6

Map of large fires in Texas, 9-6-2011
Map of large fires in east Texas, September 6, 2011. Google Earth

Earlier today we posted a map and an update about the Bastrop fire in Texas which has destroyed 600 homes, setting a record for highest number of homes lost in a single fire in Texas history.

The Texas Forest Service is reporting that statewide more than 700 homes have burned during the recent siege of fires. Governor Rick Perry said today in a news conference that over 1,000 homes have been destroyed (video) and that 3,600,000 acres have burned since December, a size equal to the state of Connecticut.

Updating the article and map from yesterday about the wildfire situation across the state, the current conditions are a little better, in that the very strong winds produced by tropical storm Lee have diminished to about 11 mph today. However with 33 large fires burning in east Texas that grew out of control during the wind event, firefighters will have their hands full for days, at least. Since yesterday The Texas Forest Service (TFS) has reported 10 new fires larger than 100 acres.

On Monday Jeremy Richter took some photos of some of the fires in Texas from an aircraft. Check them out at his site. CBSnews.com has a gallery of photos of the fires.

The TFS has created a Google map of the fires.

Here are some brief descriptions from the TFS of the 10 largest fires:

BASTROP COUNTY COMPLEX, Bastrop County. 30,000 acres, no containment. Heavy airtankers and single-engine airtankers assisted on this fire that started in the Lost Pines area just northeast of Bastrop. The fire continues to move rapidly to the south, with some eastward movement. Numerous subdivisions have been evacuated. Reports indicate nearly 600 homes have been destroyed.

DELHI, Caldwell County. 8,000 acres, 40 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved and six were lost on this fire east of Lockhart.

BEAR CREEK (#536), Cass County. 7,000 acres, no containment. The fire is burning in heavy timber and is threatened a gas facility and chicken houses.

101 RANCH, Palo Pinto County. 6,555 acres, 85 percent contained. The fire is burning on the south side of Possum Kingdom Lake near the town of Brad. Thirty-nine homes and nine RVs have been reported destroyed.

PEDERNALES BEND, Travis County. 6,500 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire is burning 4 miles southeast of Spicewood. Sixty-seven homes were destroyed. The fire has jumped the Pedernales River and is burning actively towards the south.

HENDERSON #495, Anderson County. 3,700 acres, unknown containment. Three homes were saved.

RILEY ROAD, Grimes County. 3,000 acres, unknown containment. The fire is exhibiting extreme fire behavior as it burns rapidly west of Magnolia. At least 20 homes have been destroyed, with 150 immediately threatened and hundred more in its path. The fire is actively moving to the south.

#491, Limestone County. 3,000 acres, unknown containment. Six homes were saved and one was lost on this fire 20 miles east of Waco.

#502, Nacogdoches County. 2,900 acres, unknown containment. More than a dozen homes have been evacuated, but none lost.

LUTHERHILL, Fayette County. 2,000 acres, 50 percent contained. The community of Ruttersville was evacuated. Seven homes are reported lost.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

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