Texas fire crews get help fighting blaze from storm
DALLAS — An overnight thunderstorm gave crews the break they needed to begin containing a wildfire that has scorched about 110 square miles of rolling prairies in northern Texas, while firefighters fought blazes that destroyed dozens of homes in the west of the state, an official said yesterday.
The storm brought cooler temperatures and some rain to parts of the drought-stricken state, giving fire crews added time to dig trenches and burn brush to choke off the blaze ignited accidentally Wednesday by a welder’s torch near Swenson, 175 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas Forest Service spokesman Alan Craft said.
He said the fire was 50 percent contained yesterday.
That blaze was among the largest wildfires burning throughout the parched state that have scorched some 480 square miles in the past week.
Firefighters were also battling a blaze that destroyed 40 homes in the West Texas town of Fort Davis over the weekend before racing into the largely unpopulated wilderness to the north and east.
Craft said that fire wasn’t threatening any other homes as of yesterday morning.
Residents described the terror of watching the advance of the fast-moving wall of flame.
“It was unbelievable, just horrific. There were horses on fire, buildings on fire, houses on fire,’’ said Bob Dillard, a former Jeff Davis County judge.