Sunday, April 17, 2011

Winds spare city threatened by Texas wildfires

Elliott Blackburn in Reuters: Shifting winds gave some relief to Texans menaced by wildfires that have scorched more than 230,000 acres near rural towns but forecasts point to more fire potential in coming days, officials said Saturday. "It's not what we'd like to see," said Texas Forest Service spokesman Marq Webb. "We would appreciate a tropical storm."

Officials on Saturday morning had lifted evacuation orders for the northern suburbs of San Angelo, a city of 92,000. Gusting winds that had spread wildfires within a few miles of the city's outskirts reversed to push an 80,000 acre blaze away from the city.

Previous fires had prompted residents to flee smaller, rural communities, but San Angelo marked the largest and most populated area yet threatened by wildfires. But even drier conditions and stronger winds over the next few days could spread fires in new directions and complicate battles to contain the sprawling blazes, officials warned….

Downtown Lubbock, released into the public domain by Slang3

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