Fierce Texas wildfire destroys 476 homes
September 5th, 2011
08:55 PM ET

Fierce Texas wildfire destroys 476 homes

[Updated, 8:55 p.m. ET] The number of homes destroyed by a fast-moving wildfire in Bastrop County, Texas, southeast of Austin, has risen to 476, according to Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald.

Satellite images Monday showed the fire stretching over about 25,000 acres, jumping the Colorado River and a highway, the Texas Forest Service said.

About 5,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, and more evacuations are likely as the fire spreads, officials said. Hundreds of people are in shelters as dangerous flames keep them from finding out whether their homes survived.

Texas is battling its worst fire season in state history. A record 3.5 million acres - an area roughly the size of Connecticut, according to Texas Gov. Rick Perry - have burned since the start of the season in November as hot and dry weather, coupled with a historic drought, made conditions ripe for rapid fire growth.

[Initial post, 11:41 a.m. ET] An unchecked wildfire southeast of Austin, Texas, destroyed 300 homes, scorched thousands of acres and stretched across a 16-mile area Monday morning, authorities said.

Another blaze in eastern Texas killed a mother and her 18-month-old child when flames engulfed their mobile home Sunday near Gladewater, the Gregg County Sheriff's Department said.

The fires were among more than 35 across the state, the Texas Forest Service said Monday. Officials said low relative humidity and strong winds from Lee, which made landfall as a tropical storm but has weakened to a tropical depression, fanned the flames.

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soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Ann

    Perry said he had a prayer rally for rain. So it would be un-American of me to question what is going on with the fires in Texas, because they aren't really there. Perry prayed for rain, he said he's a godly-type of guy (even while calling people Mo-Fo's) so of course Texas must have gotten rain and the fires are all a fake news story. Just wait till he becomes president of the US and he replaces all hospitals, roads and bridges and schools with prayer as well! What a great country this will be then! Don't get me started on social security and medicare!

    September 6, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. the prophet

    Fellow Americans, when are you going to realize that our Government is the reason and the cause we have become impoverished, policed and subordinated, unhealthy. uneducated, socially disconnected. Living in a decaying society. On our next elections don't vote for no one in protest, don't elect no new party to run our lives and much less the home we live in, let the Government ru out. This is step one.

    As a reformist, this is the American I see and we should have for generation to come :
    1- No property taxation
    2- No privileged Education
    3- healthy food standards, fast food standards including abolish all unhealthy short cut and cheap ingredients like corn starches
    4- Ealthcare for avery American
    5- freedom of learning
    6- triple the retirement social security benefits
    7- Abolish and expunge all form governments
    8- form one single administration

    September 6, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. TINA WEST

    ATTENTION TEXAS AND SURROUNDING AREAS.. WE NEED FIREMEN!!!! Begging for retired and any fireman to call number to help. We were short 25 fireman last night. Cannot contain town of Bastrop, 35 miles away...fire is 16 miles long, 6 miles wide..., jumped Colorado river, evacuated entire town and also neighborhood called Steiner ranch of 5500* PLEASE EVERYONE RE-POST EVEN IF NOT IN TEXAS.. SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS MAY BE. HELP!! Call 512-978-1187 Please, Please REPOST

    September 6, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Shizuka

      Being mentioned in a post on your blog made my not-so-great day turn itnnastly into one where the smile doesn't ever leave the face. A highlight for me.You're a great role model for all bloggers and twitterers, as well as a very wise friend that I adore and admire.[]

      April 22, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. Reason

    Ann, are you serious or are you making a joke? The wildfires aren't really there? So, I guess the millions of acres burning aren't really burning and the houses are not really burning. NO of course not. If you are just making a joke and saying that someone is starting the fires on purpose, either way it's happening.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    Hey tina go to a major post on line such as EBAY OR CRAIGS LIST

    September 6, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. s kel

    Well I have prayed for RAIN in Texas, I,ll keep trying.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nedly

    Reason, read her post again. You fail in reading comprehension.

    September 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fernace

    Ann is being sarcastic about a "leader" who thinks prayer will take care of our burning state! Also, she's pointing out that if this is how he cares for his state & it's people, he's likely to repeat those actions on a national level! Ann is absolutely correct!!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. the prophet

    Why the president does not sand the National Guards? shame on you America Taxas need you

    September 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
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