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Wildfire burns homes around lake in Texas amid high heat

Wildfire (1).jpeg
Posted at 10:45 AM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 12:37:00-04

GRAFORD, Texas (AP)  — A wildfire has burned at least five homes and resulted in about 300 homes being evacuated around a lake in north Texas amid sweltering temperatures and dry conditions, authorities said.

The residents returned home Tuesday, according to Texas A&M Forest Service spokesperson Adam Turner.

The fire at Possum Kingdom Lake about 95 miles (153 kilometers) west of Dallas began Monday afternoon, has burned about 500 acres (202 hectares) and was 10% contained Tuesday, Turner said.

No injuries have been reported and the cause was under investigation, but it isn’t believed to have been intentionally set, Turner said.

Turner has said drought conditions in the region have left the area ripe for fire.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag fire warning for the area for Tuesday in addition to an excessive heat warning with high temperatures near 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius).

“We are experiencing dry fuels to a level that we haven’t seen in the past ten years,” Turner said. “Any spark that lands in tall grass or even lands in some short grass right now is liable to spark.”

Wildfires and intense heat in Texas and some other parts of the United States come as unusually hot, dry weather has gripped large swaths of Europe since last week, triggering wildfires from Portugal to the Balkans and leading to hundreds of heat-related deaths.