Several wildfires have ravaged Texas over the past few days, killing at least one person and forcing families to evacuate, The New York Times reported.
The Eastland Complex fire near Dallas has burned through 54,000 acres so far, forcing hundreds of residents to flee their homes, according to the NYT. Two-thirds of Texas is under “very high” or “extreme” fire danger conditions as of Sunday as seven fires have ripped through the state, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
The fire has claimed the life of a sheriff’s deputy, who was killed while attempting to help others escape, the NYT reported.
Today, I issued a disaster declaration for 11 counties impacted by the wildfires in Texas.
We will continue to work w/ local officials to respond.
Join me in praying for those affected, including Eastland Co. Deputy Barbara Fenley who was tragically killed while saving lives. pic.twitter.com/ARbkWfv9fa
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 19, 2022
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued emergency orders in eleven counties Saturday in response to the blazes, and he ordered flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the fallen deputy. (RELATED: Two Trapped, Hundreds Rescued As Greece-Italy Ferry Goes Up In Flames)
“The State of Texas is working alongside local officials to respond to these critical fire conditions throughout several Texas counties,” Abbott said. “I commend the hard work and selfless acts of thousands of first responders and fire fighters who are risking their own lives to protect our communities.”
Another fire, known as the Big L fire, roared west of Fort Worth and forced residents of Lipan to evacuate Sunday night, the NYT reported. Two firefighters have been wounded in that fire, according to the NYT, with one firefighter sustaining burns to the face, according to the Hood County Sheriff’s office.
“We are not out of the woods at all,” Chief Joe Williamson of the Eastland Fire Department told the NYT. “Our conditions are deteriorating pretty quick.”
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