More than 436,907 acres burned in Texas panhandle, fires still b - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

More than 436,907 acres burned in Texas panhandle, fires still burning

Texas panhandle fire (Source: KCBD Viewer Julie Barron) Texas panhandle fire (Source: KCBD Viewer Julie Barron)
Texas panhandle fire (Source: KCBD Viewer Julie Barron) Texas panhandle fire (Source: KCBD Viewer Julie Barron)
(KCBD) -

Multiple wildfires are still burning across the Texas Panhandle following Monday's elevated fire conditions across the Southern Plains. Texas A&M Forest Service responded to three large fires covering more than 436,907 acres.

The Dumas Complex Fire, in Potter County near the city of Amarillo, ignited and spread rapidly with the winds gusting in excess of 50 mph. The fire threatened hundreds of homes. This fire has burned an estimated 29,197 acres and officials believe it is 75 percent contained.

The Perryton Fire, in Ochiltree, Lipscomb and Hemphill counties is burning in grass and brush and is estimated to have burned more than 315,135 acres. The fire moved rapidly and threatened the towns of Higgins and Glazier. Interagency firefighters were able to protect the towns by diverting the fire away from the communities. Two homes have been reported destroyed.

Texas A&M Forest Service is responding to a request for assistance on a wildfire in Gray County named the Lefors East Fire. It is estimated at 92,571 acres and 25 percent contained.

Texas A&M Forest Service and the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center predictive services had forecast extreme fire weather for the northwest half of the Panhandle and critical fire weather west of a line from Childress to Midland.

Winds across the Panhandle should subside for Wednesday, but elevated fire conditions return to the area Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

Texas A&M Forest Service is working with Department of Public Safety, local fire departments and other interagency resources. The Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System has been activated sending fire engine strike teams to Amarillo and other staging areas in the Panhandle.

In anticipation of continued windy fronts for at least the remainder of the month, Texas A&M Forest Service is activating the heavy airtanker base in Abilene and anticipates having a 3,000-gallon jet in place by the end of this week.

These types of aircraft can carry up to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant to be dropped in an effort to slow the spread of wildfires. Please remember that drones and other non-incident response aircraft are a safety hazard around wildfires and their presence will result in the grounding of firefighting aircraft. For safety reasons, a temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the wildfires.

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