Crews make progress in containing massive Texas wildfire

Seth Griffin sorts through the ashes of his mother's home searching for coins they collected together on Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Carbon, Texas, following the Eastland Complex Fire.
Scorched land and property are left behind, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Carbon, Texas, following the Eastland Complex Fire that came through two days earlier.
Cattle graze in Eastland County on Saturday, March 19, 2022, in western Texas, as the Eastland Complex Fire continues to burn.
Natallia Berry, Pastor Wade Berry and worship leader Wendy Butler Rodgers sing during Second Baptist Church's service outside on Sunday, March 20, 2022, in Ranger, Texas, following a fire that broke out on Thursday, damaging three historic buildings, including Second Baptist Church.
Southern_Plains_Wildfires_26499 Carbon firefighters drive back toward the station on Saturday, March 19, 2022 ,in Carbon, Texas, while battling the Eastland Complex Fire.
FILE - Kayla Neel stands beside the burned remains of her aunt's home in Carbon, Texas, Friday, March 18, 2022. Fire driven by high winds swept through the Eastland County community the day before, destroying a large number of houses and buildings.
FILE - With her dog begging for a scratch behind her ears, Brenda Kidd stands near the hay field and the remains of its smoldering bales at her farm in Eastland County, Texas, March 18, 2022. The Kidd Fire originated behind the farm she shares with her family along County Road 194.
Southern_Plains_Wildfires_09425 A helicopter flies toward smoke from wildfires, Sunday, March 20, 2022, near Eastland County in Texas.
FILE - The remnants of a melted wheel are propped against the pickup which it had supported before the Kidd Fire burned the vehicle the day before in Eastland County, Texas, March 18, 2022.
FILE - Cattle gather around a feeder in Eastland County, Texas, in a field partially burned by the Kidd Fire, March 19, 2022.

EASTLAND, Texas (AP) — Firefighting crews were making progress containing a massive Texas wildfire that was blamed for last week’s death of a deputy, officials said.

The Eastland Complex has burned about 85 square miles (220 square kilometers) since a series of fires broke out last week in an area 120 miles (193 kilometers) west of Dallas. The fires were about 60% contained as of Monday night, up from 30% containment a day before, according to Texas A&M Forest Service.

The fire has burned 147 structures so far and led to the death of Deputy Sgt. Barbara Fenley, who died while going door-to-door telling residents to evacuate, officials said.

“The extreme conditions present across the state last week, greatly impacted several communities and the Texans that live there,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “These communities endured significant loss and we grieve with you.”

In Ranger, Texas, a man was arrested over the weekend on felony arson charges in connection with a fire that destroyed several structures, including a 103-year-old church, police said.

Overall, crews have responded to 178 wildfires that have burned nearly 170 square miles (440 square kilometers) statewide since last Thursday, officials said.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

National News

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up