Dry, windy weather has created conditions in West Texas that has allowed multiple wildfires to spread across tens of thousands of acres. Several of the largest blazes are in Eastland County 45 miles east-southeast of Abilene. The passage of a cold front Thursday afternoon caused the fires to spread to the southeast as 15 to 25 mph winds recorded at a weather station near Eastland began gusting out of the northwest at 28 to 35 mph while the relative humidity dropped as low as 7 percent.
To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Eastland Complex of fires in Texas, including the most recent, click here: https://wildfiretoday.com/tag/eastland-complex/
For management purposes the Texas Forest Service has grouped four of the incidents into what they are calling the Eastland Complex which has burned approximately 45,000 acres.
The 36,000-acre Kidd Fire south of Eastland burned through Carbon March 17, heavily impacting structures. Evacuations and road closures are in effect in Carbon, Lake Leon, Gorman, and outlying rural areas.
The Wheatfield Fire northeast of Cross Plains has burned about 5,000 acres. Thursday it started moving in the direction of Rising Star after the passage of the cold front, but crews were able to stop its forward progression.
The Oak Mott Fire has blackened approximately 5,000 acres southwest of Rising Star.
The Walling Fire northeast of Cross Plains was mapped at 382 acres and is nearly officially contained.
A fire not in the Complex is the 586-acre Mariah Ridge Fire south of Cross Plains.
The weather forecast indicates conditions suitable for continued fire spread. On Friday the northwest winds will continue at 21 mph gusting in the 30s, but slowing to 8 mph by sundown and dropping to 2 to 5 mph Friday night. The Friday afternoon relative humidity will be in the low 20s with a high temperature of 63. On Saturday firefighters can expect a wind shift out of the southwest and south at 9 to 11 mph gusting around 20 with 75 degrees and 16 percent RH.
Multiple highway closures are in effect due to extreme fire behavior. See DriveTexas.org for the latest in closure information.