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More Explosive Wildfire Weather Expected in Texas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    An uncontrolled wildfire burns at the Jeff Davis and Presidio County line near Fort Davis, Texas, Sunday, April 10, 2011. A fast-moving wildfire had spread to more than 60,000 acres in Presidio County and Jeff Davis County, where it destroyed about 20 homes in Fort Davis. (AP Photo/Billy Marginot)

    Strong winds combining with dry conditions have pushed the wildfire threat Thursday to extremely critical in north and northwestern Texas, officials said.

    Marq Webb, a spokesman for the Texas Forest Service, said the extremely critical area for wildfires began south of Amarillo and reached to north of Midland.

    No one should be thinking of starting a fire outdoors, Webb told The Associated Press.

    "Any source of ignition is going to create a potential firestorm, and the public needs to be aware that it's extremely critical and if you set that spark, we're doing to be chasing it for days," he said.

    A massive fire in rural Presidio and Jeff Davis counties was 70 percent contained. Nearly 165,000 acres have burned in the area since wildfires began last weekend. Nobody has been hurt, Webb said.

    The National Weather Service in Lubbock issued wind and blowing dust advisories until Thursday night. Gusts of up to 55 mph were anticipated.

    Firefighters dealing with nearly 104,000 that burned in Stonewall, King and Knox counties had the blazes 90 percent contained. A Tom Green County fire, scorching nearly 13,000 acres about 13 miles west of San Angelo, also was nearly under control.

    The Texas Forest Service, in the past week, has responded to at least 75 fires burning more than 385,000 acres, the agency said.

    Three-fourths of the state's 254 counties have burn bans.