All my support to the firefighters fighting wildfires.Â Â Lack of rain, hotÂ temperatures, andÂ highÂ winds fuel the wildfiresÂ throughout Texas.Â
The following information is from CNN.com:
"Texas burning 'from border to border'
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 20, 2011 12:57 p.m. EDT
- NEW: Evacuation orders were lifted for Coke County and Palo Pinto, Texas
- Possum Kingdom resident Jackie Fewell has set up a blog to provide updates
- New fires emerge in Stephens and Garza counties in northern Texas
- Emergency personnel responded Tuesday to 10 new fires
Read more about this story from CNN affiliates WFAA and KTVT. Are you there? Share your photos and video.
Dallas (CNN) -- Texas firefighters Wednesday battled blazes that have scorched more than one million acres and have been burning for more than a week, according to the Texas Forest Service.
"We're actually seeing Texas burn from border to border. We've got it in west Texas, in east Texas, in north Texas, in south Texas -- it's all over the state," Forest Service spokeswoman April Saginor told CNN Radio. "We've got one in the Dallas area that's four fires that have actually merged together."
Saginor said firefighters from 34 states are now in Texas battling blazes that, over the past two weeks, have destroyed more than 170 homes.
"Some (fires) are over 100,000 acres and they've been burning for over a week, so that's our priority right now," Saginor said, "to put out the big ones."
High-res photos: Wildfires blaze across Texas
Firefighter Greg Simmons died Friday trying to extinguish the East Sidwynicks fire in Eastland County. His funeral was scheduled for Wednesday at Cowboy Church in Olden.
Five other volunteer firefighters have been injured by the East Sidwynicks fire, which has burned 3,000 acres.
Another firefighter was treated and released from a hospital in Graham after his bulldozer clipped a gas line and caused an explosion.
Western wildfires eat up Texas
Wildfires continue to race across Texas
Fighting wildfires in Texas
"The state of Texas is under siege," Saginor said. "Wildfire is dangerous and it's threatening homes, lives and property on a daily basis. We caution residents to take this threat seriously and heed the call of their local authorities when told to evacuate."
On Tuesday, emergency personnel responded to 10 new fires across more than 2,000 acres, according to the Texas Forest Service.
There was a chance for a brief break Wednesday from the dry weather and high winds blamed for the spreading wildfires, according to the National Weather Service
. But more fires emerged early in the day in Stephens and Garza counties in northern Texas, where officials are trying to contain blazes that have burned nearly 3,000 acres.
Since January 1, the Texas Forest Service said, it has responded to more than 800 fires that have damaged some 5,000 structures across 1.4 million acres.
Fire-friendly conditions are expected to return Thursday in various parts of the state, the National Weather Service said.
"Even if we get two inches of rain the ground's going to eat it up," said David Hennig, a Weather Service meteorologist in Midland, Texas. "We need a pattern shift."
Wildfire ravages home but spares family roosters
West Texas averages nearly 15 inches of rain a year, according to Hennig. In the past six months, only 13-hundredths of an inch of rain has been recorded in that part of the state. While October through March is typically the dry season, that amount of rainfall is far below what it should be, Hennig said.
He said weather models show the possibility of more storms this weekend and perhaps next week. While the rain is needed, storms accompanied by lightning pose a fire risk, he said.
Not all of Texas will get a reprieve from the tinderbox weather Wednesday. The Guadalupe Mountains face an extreme risk of fire through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Van Horn, Texas, which is 165 miles west of Odessa, is expected to face a critical fire threat on Thursday, as well as the nearby state Highway 54 corridor and the southeast New Mexico plains.
Texas Forest Service: Fire dangers and advisories
Firefighters in Texas had to contend with 11 new fires Tuesday in addition to carryover blazes.
Massive flames forced the evacuation of at least three towns and brought widespread damage to several parched counties west of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area Tuesday, authorities said. Helicopters and other aircraft aided the firefighting.
One of the largest fires plaguing Texas rampaged between the towns of Graham and Graford.
That fire, less than 70 miles west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, burned into residential areas surrounding Possum Kingdom Lake Monday night, destroying and damaging homes in four or five neighborhoods, according to Marq Webb, a spokesman with the Texas Forest Service.
Aerial images shot Tuesday by CNN affiliate WFAA showed some homes on the edge of Possum Kingdom Lake burned down to the foundations, swaths of charred vegetation and heavy smoke hanging over parts of the area. Still, numerous homes appeared to have escaped the flames, some of them next to houses that had been destroyed.
Share your photos and video
Possum Kingdom resident Jackie Fewell set up a blog to provide updates on the crisis since fire warnings first were extended to the 3,000-home lake community.
"I was frustrated by a lot of misinformation that was being passed around by a lot of well-intentioned people through Facebook and text-messaging," she said.
Fewell set up the blog Saturday as a part of the website for Pondera properties, the lake's managing real-estate company, where she works.
"We have been able to generate this incredible response," Fewell said, noting the site has served as a bridge between residents in need of help and those able to provide it.
"We get remarks from people all over needing help," she said. "If we put out a query to get 200 leather gloves to the area, we'll have those gloves within a few days."
Crews protect Texas observatory with fire of their own
Fewell said uses for the site have ranged from saving abandoned pets to providing real-time updates on properties threatened by the blaze.
Aerial video shot near the community Tuesday by CNN affiliate KTVT showed massive flames and smoke still in the area. Helicopters and Air National Guard C-130 aircraft outfitted with specialized firefighting equipment roared overhead, dumping water and fire retardant on the flames.
More than 600 homes were threatened by the Possum Kingdom Complex fire, which involved more than 147,065 acres in Stephens, Palo Pinto and Young counties on Tuesday, the Forest Service said earlier.
Young County Sheriff Bryan Walls estimated the fire covered 200,000 acres in the three counties.
The Palo Pinto County Sheriff's office said it evacuated 200 residents from the town of Palo Pinto and moved them to shelters. Two buses were sent to evacuate jail inmates, said Deputy Randy Hunter. That evacuation order was lifted Wednesday afternoon after fire officials assured authorities it was safe for residents to return home.
Earlier, in an interview with CNN affiliate KDAF, Palo Pinto resident Joe Lee said he and his wife hadn't decided where they would go before they evacuated, so they parked their trailer on the shoulder of Highway 180 and watched a cloud of smoke coming toward them.
"If they don't let us back in, there are several trailer parks in Mineral Wells," Lee said. "But if they do, we'll go back."
The communities of Graford and Strawn were also evacuated, the Forest Service said.
Graham resident Bailey Barnett had already had to flee after ash as thick as snow began falling around her home.
The area remained under threat, but Barnett, who is pregnant with her first child, had another reason to worry: Her husband, she said, is a volunteer working on the fires with the Graham Fire Department.
"It's been really, really, stressful," Barnett said Tuesday. "I don't think a lot of people realize how bad it is."
Dianne Simpson told CNN affiliate KSAN that she and her husband watched nervously as a wildfire approached their house near the Tom Green County-Coke County line, where residents had evacuated.
"We just sat out here on the deck and watched it burn, and it was just pretty devastating," Simpson said. "You're just sitting here going 'There's nothing I can do.' "
According to KSAN, the blaze stopped just 330 yards from the Simpsons' house.
By Wednesday, the evacuation order for Coke County had been lifted, according to Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Saginor.
Fires have burned in 252 of the state's 254 counties since December 21."