Fire Crews Battle Wildfires in 10 States

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Firefighters are hoping for lighter winds to help control more than three dozen blazes raging throughout the Southwest.

Thousands have fled their homes from Arizona to Texas in what's being called the worst wildfire season in history.

A prolonged drought, combined with 100 degree temperatures created the bad conditions. High winds are also fanning the flames.

"It's dry out and the smallest little fire with the wind, just like today -- it doesn't take long for it to spread real fast," explained Dean Hensley of the Harris County Fire Marshall's Office in Texas.

Blinding smoke from the fires shut down Interstate 45 between Dallas and Houston for several hours.

In Arizona, hundreds of firefighters are trying to control two large blazes -- one the size of Rhode Island.

More than 10,000 people fled their homes after strong winds fed a 10 foot wall of flame near the town of Sierra Vista.

"I feared for my husband and my animals for the air quality," said Arizona evacuee June Carter.

More than 30 families lost their homes in east Texas. But others near the fires say they won't leave until they're forced.

"When we know it is going to hit the house we will leave," said Polk Country, Texas, resident Mark Skinner. "Until then, we're staying."

As the nation enters the first day of summer, more than 4.3 million acres have already burned, and continued hot temperatures are likely to keep firefighters busy for months to come.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.