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Update: Texas Wildland Fires

Return to the July 1, 2011 issue of On Scene

IAFC On Scene: July 1, 2011

So far this fire season, almost 3 million acres of Texas land have burned. More than 450 homes have been lost in addition to 1,327 other structures.

The seven-month period between October 2010 and April 2011 was the driest seven-month period in Texas history, dating back to 1895. Six of the top 10 largest fires on record in Texas history occurred in 2011.

We’ve seen fires jump railroads, highways and bodies of water. We’ve seen hundreds of families evacuated, not knowing if they’ll have an opportunity to return home. 

We’ve seen a lot of tragedies—and we’ve also seen the kindness and gratitude of Texans across the Lone Star State.

After they had put out a blaze that was threatening homes in Hale County, a homeowner hugged all 15 engine crew members and a regional fire coordinator before allowing them to leave the property. Residents across the state have approached firefighters in restaurants and convenience stores, offering to pay for their meals, buy their fuel or just say thank you.

While many Texas homes and structures have been lost, more than 13,000 homes and 8,400 other structures have been saved. It’s been a difficult year for many, but rewarding for Texas Forest Service to continue serving the state of Texas.

April Saginor is a communications specialist with the Texas Forest Service.

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