Texas Wildfire Could Soon Be Contained

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A devastating wildfire that burned more than three dozen cliff-top homes in North Texas may soon be contained.

The Possum Kingdom Lake fire, located about 75 miles west of Fort Worth, has been fueled by strong winds, parched vegetation and the unrelenting heat that has gripped the drought-stricken state.

The wildfire threatened as many as 400 homes in the area and had burned nearly 6,200 acres. But after the fire moved to flatter ground Wednesday, it was expected to scorch the remaining trees and be easier to contain, Texas Forest Service spokesman John Nichols said.

"We anticipate the night shift will get a good handle on this fire," Nichols said late Wednesday.

The fire, which has caused no major injuries since it began Tuesday, has destroyed at least 39 homes.

"It's devastating, of course, and it's going to take a while to get over, but we're going to carry on," Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer said.

Texas is enduring its most severe drought since the 1950s, with bone-dry conditions made worse by weeks of triple-digit temperatures in many cities. Fires have destroyed more than 5,470 square miles since mid-November, the typical start of the wildfire season.

The conditions have become so severe that "normal rain events will have little positive impact on the drought and consequently the fire danger," Texas Forest Service specialist Tom Spencer said.

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