by: Rod Rice, March 14, 2006 12:03:00 am
Fire crews are working to gain control of the massive fires.
"We're still working on containment on these wildfires. We're up to over 800,000 acres total on the fire, with some of them having perimeters of 45-miles."
Justice Jones is with the Texas Forest Service.
"We've had eleven confirmed fatalities because of the fire and nine reported firefighter injures-seven of them were minor and one of them was major due to a vehicle rollover."
Ranchers have reported losing livestock, barns, equipment and fences.Numbers on the livestock that perished weren't immediately available, but a Texas Farm Bureau spokesman estimates those are in the thousands.Jones says firefighters are adjusting to shifting winds and bracing for the possibility of dropping humidity.
"Weather is not our friend today, we are expecting a little bit of a reprieve tomorrow, but right now the weather is actually working against us."
There's a slight chance of rain later this week, but Jones says it may not be enough to make a real difference. Officials are working to stage additional firefighters and equipment to protect communities that might be threatened. Governor Rick Perry has announced more help is bound for the charred regions. He's instructed the Texas Army National Guard to provide four helicopters.