9/1/11 (AEIN) Wildfires continued to burn in Texas on Thursday and very hot, dry weather prevailed throughout much of the state. Forecasts suggested little improvement in the near future as firefighters worked to put out large fires in at least twelve different counties. Meanwhile, farmers face the effects of a severe drought.
The Texas Forest Service reported on Thursday that over 20 thousand acres had burned, including a number of homes. Significant new fires began on Wednesday in Briscoe, Wise and Walker counties. Fourteen major fires continue to burn in areas including Palo Pinto, Kimble, Edwards, Coryell, Howard, Sutton, Menard, Edwards and Hall counties.
In addition to fire engines, authorities are using helicopters, air tankers and bulldozers to combat the flames. The National Guard is providing assistance to the state and local efforts. To prevent additional fires from occurring, almost every county has prohibited residents from conducting intentional outdoor burning.
High temperatures over 100F (38 C) were reported on Wednesday in Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, El Paso, Ft. Worth and Houston. Wichita Falls reached 105F. Temperatures may fall a few degrees, but forecasts predict highs near or slightly above 100F for Thursday and Friday in many parts of the state.