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Drought conditions and high winds lead to wildfires in Texas

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fire authorities struggled to manage a vast string of wildfires stretching across the eastern part of Texas on Sunday. News sources report that prolonged dry conditions and excessive winds were the main factors in the blazes.

Traffic along Interstate-20 near Longview, Texas was backed up for several miles. Fire authorities fought a brush fire in Tyler, near Tyler Pounds Field airport; a large truck near this area was also ablaze. A fire threatened a power sub-station near the city of Van. Regional utilities companies reported Sunday that over 8,000 customers were without electricity.

A church in Hallsville opened to assist evacuees. Residences spanning several counties were evacuated by authorities for safety reasons. Multiple residences in north-central Anderson county were evacuated by fire officials about two hours after a large blaze there erupted. Authorities closed off a 9-mile perimeter of roadways surrounding this blaze. Many homes in the area were blanketed with a thick haze of visible smoke. One evacuee told Wikinews, "I have [homeowner's] insurance. I got my dog, that matters a' lot to me."


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