WATCH: Multiple Wild Fires Causing Havoc In West Texas Counties
If the skies seem a little smoky and hazy to you, it's because large sections of West Texas are battling a fire due to a combination of high winds and dry grass. The fire has caused evacuations of several counties as firefighters from across the state are joining in to battle the blaze.
Officials Are Calling It The Eastland Fire Complex
According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, several small wildfires merged to form what fire officials call a “complex” that's burning near Eastland County, about 120 miles west of Dallas. As of Friday morning (March 18), the fires had burned about 40,000 acres and it was only 2% contained. Fires were burning in thick brush and grass fields but due to weather conditions, other smaller fires began to pop up.
Multiple Evacuations Were Reported In Several Towns and Counties
Throughout Thursday afternoon (March 17), as the fires continued to spread into towns and property, residents of towns like Glen Cove, Barnhart, May, Rising Star and some areas of Abilene were ordered to evacuate.
Heavy Flames Also Destroyed Sections of Ranger, Texas Including A Historic Church and The Police Department.
According to WFAA, Ranger is in Eastland County, about 85 miles west of Fort Worth, off of Interstate 20 and Loop 254. Video taken by the Eastland County Today newspaper showed crews working to put out fires at the historic Second Baptist Church and the police station. The chief in Ranger says that the fires that ravaged their town was started by a BBQ pit in addition to the high winds and dry grasses separate from the Eastland Complex Fire.
As Of Friday Morning (March 18) Crews Are Still Battling Multiple Fires.
The Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System reported this morning that fires in Randall, Reagan, Sterling, Runnels and Maverick Counties are over 75% contained while most of the Eastland County fire continues to rage on.
Hopefully, those brave men and women will get it under control. For now, we send our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected.