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September 07, 2011

Firefighters Gain Ground Over Texas Wildfires For First Time

In this outbreak, of course.

Firefighters gained ground on Wednesday for the first time in their days-long battle against a large and deadly wildfire southeast of Austin, Texas, officials said.

The 34,000-acre (14,000-hectare) Bastrop County Complex fire, which has forced the evacuation of about 5,000 people in the rural community, was about 30 percent contained and that number was expected to grow throughout the afternoon, said Mike Fisher, the county's emergency management coordinator.

"We're feeling like we're gaining enough control that we're not going to lose a lot more acreage today," Fisher said. "Perhaps today, we'll have the perimeter secure and the fire will not get larger."

The Bastrop fire, one of nearly 200 fires that have broken out across Texas in the past week, has killed two people and claimed 785 homes, the most houses ever destroyed by a single fire in Texas history, the Texas Forest Service reported Wednesday morning.

Firefighters who have fought the blaze since Sunday were helped overnight by decreased winds and cooler temperatures, conditions expected to continue on Wednesday, officials said.

If you want to help, there are lots of ways to do so.

The below video was posted by the Texas Parks & Wildlife agency.

Video shot September 5, 2011 on the north edge of Bastrop State Park. All but about 100 acres of the 6,000-acre park have been blackened by fire. Firefighters have been battling blazes for 3 days.

It spreads very fast.

I honestly do not think Perry should attend the debate tonight. Even if firefighters are getting a handle on it. Things can change fast, as that video shows.

I know his opponents are counting on him to implode for their benefit (actually, he's likely to deliver the knockout, but keep hope alive, I suppose), and will attempt to claim that he's hiding, but actually, I think he should be in Texas for this. The governor is supposed to be on the job during a crisis. Going to the debate elevates the presidential campaign over his actual job.

You know how he loses the debate? Winds whip up and the fire spreads while he's in California.

I suppose he's already en route, or about to be, though.

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posted by Ace at 03:10 PM

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