Texas Governor Declares State of Disaster as Wildfires Burn Out of Control

by Suzanne Halliburton

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a disaster area for another county as intense winds, warm temperatures, and low humidity continue to whip up wildfires.

At issue now is the Das Goat Fire in Medina County, west of San Antonio. It initially started when a car caught on fire, Friday. A chunk of Texas has been under red-flag wind warnings for days. The car fire quickly spread and now is enveloping about 1,000 acres. Firefighters have the blaze 50 percent contained. Abbott issued a disaster declaration for the area this weekend.

Texas Wildfires Continue to Burn Through the State

  • Gov. Greg Abbott declared a disaster area for Medina County, west of San Antonio
  • Firefighters for Fort Hood Army Base continue to battle a blaze within their boundaries.
  • The Eastland Complex in north-central Texas is an umbrella name for seven wildfires.

Meanwhile, layer that on to other wildfires whipping through parts of Central Texas.

The fire department within Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen is dealing with the Crittenburg Fire. It has consumed nearly 33,000 acres within the Army installation’s boundaries.

Another fire just outside of the Fort Hood boundary has burned 30,000 acres.

Now, add the Eastland Complex fire, which is burning through north-central Texas. The good news is firefighters estimate its containment at 90 percent. Those fires are about 250 miles north of the one burning in Medina County. The Fort Hood fire is about midway between the two.

Eastland Complex Includes Seven Fires

The Eastland Complex fires have impacted almost 55,000 acres, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The complex features seven different fires — Kidd, Blowing Basin, Cedar Mountain, Oak Mott, Wheat Field Mangum and Walling. The Kidd fire is the largest at about 43,000 acres. It destroyed 142 structures. It’s why residents who live in parts of Eastland, Hood and Erath counties have evacuated.

So far, this fire has caused one death. Last Thursday, Sgt. Barbara Finley of the Eastland County Sheriff’s Office, died a hero as she tried to save residents. She was trying to check on an elderly neighbor. But overwhelmed by heavy smoke, her car ran off the road and was engulfed in flames.

There’s also a separate fire in the area. It’s called the Big L and it’s consumed about 11,000 acres. However, it’s not spreading and an evacuation order was lifted, Monday.

The National Weather Service issued more red flag warnings, Monday, for huge areas of the state. These warnings go out when temperatures are warmer than 75 degrees. The humidity needs to be lower than 25 percent and sustained winds must exceed 15 mph.