Texans evacuated as winds, dry conditions fan flames(excerpts and photos borrowed from Abilene Reporter News and CNN)
January 1, 2006
Posted 7:47 p.m.
At least 20 grass fires sprang up in the Texas Panhandle, rapidly consuming thousands of acres and forcing some evacuations and road closures.
In Eastland County ( refer to county map from 2 posts ago ) near Carbon, helicopters with the Texas Air National Guard aided firefighters battling an 8,000-acre blaze that threatened up to 200 homes, said Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Traci Weaver. Billowing clouds of light gray smoke hung across the horizon for miles.
The blazes were spreading quickly because of high winds from 24 to 50 mph and temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s, according to the National Weather Service.
Residents of about 200 homes were forced to evacuate ahead of a fire near the town of Carbon, about 130 miles west of Dallas, said Sparky Dean, an Eastland County government spokesman.
I took a nap this afternoon, and woke up to David watching a football game on TV. I looked at the clock, and it showed 6:10 and I looked out and it was dark, and I thought to myself, "WHAT in the WORLD is he watching on TV at 6 in the MORNING to make him shout like that", but it was actually evening. It just seemed soo dark because of all the dust stirred up by the gusting winds..