Twenty-four new wildfires burn in north Texas as heat continues

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(COLLEGE STATION, Texas) — An evacuation order has been lifted after authorities responded to 24 new wildfires that burned 7,774 acres in north Texas on Tuesday, according to the Texas A&M Forest Services.

Officials say that hot temperatures, winds and drought conditions will continue the threat of fires in the area.

The evacuation was issued in response to the Chalk Mountain Fire, which spread from Somervell County into Hood County on Tuesday.

The Hood County judge issued a mandatory evacuation in the area of Hutchinson, Coleman Ranch Road, Rock Church Highway and Nocal in Tolar around 7:45 p.m. before the evacuation was lifted around two hours later.

The Chalk Mountain Fire burned 6,000 acres, destroyed at least 12 structures and was 10% contained as of Wednesday morning, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

As of Wednesday morning, the service was not able to confirm how many of the affected structures were homes.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for northern Texas and southern Oklahoma as gusty winds near 30 miles per hour, combined with extremely dry vegetation — which can fuel fires — and dangerous heat nearing 110 degrees threaten the area on Wednesday.

The Texas A&M Forest Service also responded to a fire about 70 miles west of Fort Worth, where a fire at Possum Kingdom Lake reached 500 acres burned and 10% containment as of Tuesday night.

At least five homes have been burned from the fire, the service said.

The service said they are using bulldozers to dig containment lines around the fires and aircraft to drop water on the growing flames.

As of Wednesday morning, no injuries have been reported at either fire.

According to the Texas A&M Fire Service, 214 counties are under burn bans on Wednesday, meaning that individuals in those counties are prohibiting from any outdoor burning until further notice.

The East County Fire in Kaufman County is currently at 500 acres burned and 40% containment.

A number of large fires have reached 80 to 90% containment, including the West Bend Fire that has burned 6,522 acres and the Nethery Road Fire that has burned 3,262 acres.

In addition to the North Texas fires that continue to burn, the service said that the risk for significant fires is spreading to east Texas.

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