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Evacuations As Wildfires Continue Raging In Texas, 'Eastern Complex' Cluster Only 2% Contained

EASTLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Low humidity and gusty winds continue to fuel wildfires in Texas, burning homes and prompting evacuations.

Several wildfires merged to form what fire officials call a "complex" that was burning near Eastland, about 85 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

As of Friday morning, the fires had burned about 62.5 square miles (around 40,000 acres), according to Texas A&M Forest Service. It was only 2% contained and fires were burning in thick brush and grass fields.

The Texas A&M Forest Service told CBS 11 News that crews are focusing on operations related to life safety and structure protection as well as the construction of fire line.

Other smaller fires were burning throughout other areas of Texas, and Thursday's low humidity and high winds created an ideal scenario for the blazes to quickly grow out of control. Texas A&M Forest Service had warned of a wildfire outbreak this week because of the forecast.

So far, there have been no reports of injuries.

Evacuation orders were in effect for parts of Eastland, Brown and Comanche counties.

Hundreds of other residents in the line of fire have already been evacuated. Two shelters have been set up for evacuees in Eastland --

  • First Baptist Church Eastland
    405 S. Seaman Street, Eastland, TX 76448
  • River of Life Church
    1247 E. Main Street, Eastland, TX 76448

In the small town of Ranger — about 10 miles northeast of Eastland — a church and several downtown buildings burned Thursday.

"I've been fire chief here 40 years and when you have something like this... it hurts. It hurts the whole community," Ranger Fire Department Chief Darrell Fox said as he gestured toward burned buildings. "You know, this church had been here for 100 years... been here all that time. [And] this right here was my first fire station when I first went to work for the City of Ranger. So you know, a lot of it is sentimental."

Firefighters from the Fort Worth, Dallas, and Grand Prairie Fire Departments have been dispatched to the fire along with additional equipment.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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