As wildfires continue to scorch the Lone Star State, Texas officials are now warning of dangerous conditions through the weekend.
According to CNN, authorities in central Texas are now battling several wildfires and are predicting more dangerous conditions on Sunday (March 20th). Authorities explain that at least 50 homes have been destroyed by the wildfire.
Meanwhile, Texas officials are warning that Sunday will be another dangerous fire weather day. A fire weather watch will begin on Sunday morning and will continue through the evening hours. “Relative humidity values will drop to the low to mid-teens once again. But much warmer and windier conditions are expected to develop compared to today. Rapid-fire spread will once again be possible Sunday afternoon/evening.”
Eastland County Judge, Rex Fields describes the area between Carbon and Gorman as looking like some kind of lunar landscape. He states that there is no vegetation. “It’s just an amazing amount of devastation.”
The Red Cross reports that it is responding to the wildfire in Eastland Country with resources for those residents in need. The town of Ranger, Texas is also experiencing devastation, with a church and several downtown buildings burned. Speaking about the devastation, Ranger Fire Department Chief, Darrell Fox, states, “I’ve been fire chief here 40 years and when you have something like this… it hurts. It hurts the whole community. This church had been here for 100 years.”
Along with the wildfire in Eastland County, the Crews Gap Fire, in Runnels County, is still reportedly burning as of Saturday. However, firefighters are managing to contain 80% of that blaze.
New Wildfire Warnings Announced As Texas Sheriff Deput Dies in the Flames
This warning comes just after a sheriff’s deputy was reportedly killed in the flames. CNN reveals that Deputy Sgt. Barbara Fenley, tragically passed away while evacuating people from the town of Carbon, Texas. The Eastland County Sheriff’s Office reveals that Fenley was last heard from as she was assisting an elderly person.
Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, who recently issued a disaster declaration for 11 counties, which includes Eastland, ordered flags at half-staff in Fenley’s honor. “We will never forget her sacrifice,” Governor Abbott declared.
Fenley’s son, Jonathan, spoke about her mother’s courage during the Texas wildfires. “You’re thinking it’s going to be like every other night. We were just looking for her when we got that phone call.”
Fenley’s family also stated that she loved her job and was always helping others. Jonathan said, “If someone else was having a bad day, she always tried to cheer them up. Even if she was having a worse day.”
Meanwhile, four wildfires, known as the Eastland Complex, have scorched through more than 45,380 acres by Saturday morning. The Texas wildfire is roughly 15% contained as of Saturday.