US: Evacuations Underway As Massive Wildfire Burns across Huntsville, Texas

US: Evacuations Underway As Massive Wildfire Burns across Huntsville, Texas

As per Texas A&M Forest Service, the fire, named the "Game Preserve Fire," has burned an estimated 500 acres and is 0 per cent contained.

ANIUpdated: Saturday, September 02, 2023, 01:39 PM IST
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US: Wildfire burning across Huntsville, Texas triggers evacuations | Twitter

A large wildfire burning across Huntsville, Texas, forced some parts of the city to evacuate on Friday, CNN reported. Forecasters have predicted extremely hot weather to persist over the Labor Day weekend. As per Texas A&M Forest Service, the fire, named the 'Game Preserve Fire,' has burned an estimated 500 acres and is 0 per cent contained.

Aircraft are dropping water to assist with firefighting efforts, the Walker County Office of Emergency Management said.

Communications supervisor for Walker County, Stephanie Harris, told CNN that the county's emergency management office has recommended evacuation for everyone within three miles of Lost Indian Camp Road. A large area northwest of Huntsville has been evacuated.

Huntsville, the county seat of Walker County, is located north of Houston, Texas.

Dry conditions led to critical fire weather conditions

On July 21, Walker County issued a burn ban prohibiting outside burning. On Thursday night, the emergency management office said dry conditions led to critical fire weather conditions.

Governor Greg Abbott on Friday announced that he directed the Texas A&M Forest Service to activate an air tanker base in Austin to assist in wildfire suppression efforts across the state ahead of Labor Day weekend. The air tanker base, stationed at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, is equipped to handle all air tankers from the national fleet, the governor's office said.

"Additional resources through this air tanker base will provide even greater support to state and local officials as they swiftly respond," the governor said in a news release. "With triple-digit heat forecasted for this Labor Day weekend, I urge Texans to remain weather-aware and limit any activities that may cause sparks or flames that could lead to accidental fires."

Large parts of the southern US, including Texas and Louisiana have experienced extreme heat and drought this summer, resulting in conditions conducive to wildfires. In June, Texas experienced a serious heat wave, with temperatures reaching triple digits. A wildfire in Austin burned for over two days and destroyed at least one apartment building in early August, as per CNN.

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