New Wildfires Rage Across Texas Leaving Shocking Devastation in Their Wake
As firefighters battle more than 25 fires across Texas, Governor Rick Perry is considering canceling an appearance at a GOP presidential debate in California. The outbreak, one of the worst in the state’s history, has destroyed over 1,000 homes in the past week leaving their owners to find emergency housing.
The largest fires in Bastrop, Montgomery, Travis, Williamson, Grimes and Waller counties weren’t even near containment Tuesday afternoon. 11 of the fires exceeded 1,000 acres at the end of the news day. The Bastrop county fire made history by burning over 15 miles so far, destroying 1 home every four minutes and advancing at a speed of one mile a day. Over 7,000 acres of heavy forest in Cass county have been lost, and so far four fire-related deaths have been reported.
Some good news though. The massive expense of fighting these fires will be mostly covered by the federal government, thanks to seven FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grants. Funding from FEMA will cover 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. Including Tuesday’s grants, 52 FEMA Fire Management Assistance Grants have been made to Texas since January 2011.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has said response in the next 48 to 72 hours will be crucial, and he plans to stay close to home during that time. This means putting his 2012 presidential campaign on hold. In a news conference, Perry reminded his constituents of the dangers the fires pose.
He urged residents to heed evacuation orders and flee their homes if they lose power. The governor said the wildfire burning in the central part of the state is “as mean looking” as he’s ever seen.
3.5 million acres in Texas have been burned since December, and as that number continues to grow this week, it seems most Texans are asking for a miracle. Take a look at the gallery below. These images speak much louder than statistics.
Information taken in part from the Abilene Reporter News and ABC News