9/12/11 (AEIN) Severe drought and very high temperatures prevail in almost every region throughout the state of Texas. Firefighters continue to battle large wildfires with help from the National Guard. As forecasters predict hot, dry weather for most parts of Texas, the situation appears unlikely to improve in the near future.
Additional wildfires keep appearing even as firefighters battle large ongoing fires in several counties. The Texas Forest Service reported that it responded to nineteen new wildfires on Sunday, including large blazes in Rusk and Harrison counties. A day earlier, it responded to twenty-four new fires.
Major wildfires persist in Bastrop, Waller, Grimes, Montgomery, Upshur, Cass, Gregg, Marion and Palo Pinto counties. Some roads remain closed or open to residents only. Emergency personnel continue to utilize airtankers, C-130 military airplanes, helicopters and other equipment to help extinguish the spreading flames.
Much of Texas remains in a long-term drought, making it very difficult to put out the fires. An extreme drought persists in nineteen out of every twenty square miles across the state, according to the Texas Forest Service. Just over four-fifths of Texas have entered an "exceptional" drought, the most severe classification.
Meanwhile, rather hot temperatures persist throughout the Lone Star state. The capitol Austin reached 101F (38 C) on Sunday, while Houston reported a high of 99F and the temperature soared to 104F in Waco. Forecasters predict highs around 100F on Monday and Tuesday in Austin, Abilene, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.