Gov. Rick Perry, center, holds a news conference to discuss wild fires in central Texas, Monday, Sept. 5, 2011, in Bastrop, Texas. A roaring wildfire raced unchecked Monday through rain-starved farm and ranchland in Texas, destroying nearly 500 homes during a rapid advance fanned in part by howling winds from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry says the wildfire burning in the central part of the state is "as mean looking" as he's ever seen.
Perry left his presidential campaign Monday in South Carolina to return to Texas and deal with the fire, which covers 25,000 acres near Bastrop and has already destroyed nearly 500 homes.
Perry said at a news conference that wildfires have claimed 3.5 million acres in Texas since December.
He said the Federal Emergency Management Agency likely would arrive Wednesday and that Texas would seek federal disaster relief. He also said officials were considering seeking military resources from nearby Fort Hood.
Perry said it's too soon to tell whether he'll miss Wednesday's GOP debate in California. He added that he's "not paying attention to politics right now."
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