News / USA

Thousands Flee Texas Fires

Firefighters from around the state battle a large wildfire on Highway 71 near Smithville, Texas.  A roaring wildfire raced unchecked Monday through rain-starved farm and ranchland in Texas, destroying nearly 500 homes during a rapid advance fanned in part
Firefighters from around the state battle a large wildfire on Highway 71 near Smithville, Texas. A roaring wildfire raced unchecked Monday through rain-starved farm and ranchland in Texas, destroying nearly 500 homes during a rapid advance fanned in part

Multimedia

Thousands of people are fleeing from wildfires that continue to burn out of control in the southern state of Texas.

Texas officials say 5,000 residents have been evacuated from the raging fires, which have already burned about 15,000 hectares of land and destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

Related video clip:

Two deaths - a 20-year-old mother and her child - are also being blamed on the fires.

Texas Governor Rick Perry told media outlets early Tuesday that firefighters are battling more than 50 blazes across the state and that the fires were still not under control.

A persistent drought and high winds have helped fan the flames, spreading the damage over a wider area.  But forecasters said Tuesday that the winds should ease and hopefully make it easier for firefighters to get the fires under control.

Some Texas residents had hoped for some needed rain from Tropical Storm Lee which came ashore Sunday in the bordering state Louisiana.  But Lee has only helped to create more wind.

Wildfires have consumed almost 1.5 million hectares of land in Texas since just before the start of the year.

The state has deployed aircraft, including four heavy tanker planes, to combat the fires.  

The worst blaze, near Austin, the state capital, stretches for more than 25 kilometers.

Two-hundred-fifty-one of the state's 254 counties have banned burning materials outside.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is seeking the Republican Party's presidential nomination, cut short a campaign visit to South Carolina Monday and returned home to oversee the fire-fighting efforts.  As he went before television cameras, the governor urged people in harm's way to listen to evacuation orders.  

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid