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Texas wildfire grows amid hot, windy weather

Apr 19, 2011 10:45:00 AM - thestate.com
A Texas wildfire burning about 70 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth area is more than twice as big as previous estimates, and firefighters will face difficult conditions Tuesday battling the blaze, officials said.

The fire at Possum Kingdom Lake about 70 miles west of Fort Worth has grown to nearly 150,000 acres from estimates a day earlier of about 63,000 acres, according to the Texas Forest Service.

The Possum Kingdom fire is the fifth of at least 100,000 acres around Texas reported in the past two weeks. Most of the state is in extreme drought, and wildfires in the past week alone have burned more than 1,000 square miles of parched Texas ranchland - an area that combined would be the size of Rhode Island.

The weather is expected to complicate matters in North Texas on Tuesday, with temperatures forecast in the mid-90s and wind gusts of up to 35 mph. There is a chance of evening thunderstorms.

"Gusty winds, it's going to make any fire suppression efforts problematic," Webb said Tuesday. "The public just needs to be mindful that any use of outdoor fire should not be considered."