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Wildfires trigger evacuations in West Texas counties

A series of wind-driven wildfires was burning in a sparsely populated area of West Texas on Friday (March 18), consuming more than 45,000 acres of dry grasslands and forcing the evacuations of some residents from their homes, fire officials said.

The Eastland Complex, made up of four fires that sparked as early as Wednesday amid low humidity and gusty winds, was only 4% contained as of the afternoon, said the Texas A&M Forest Service.

Officials ordered evacuations in areas of Eastland County, with a population of about 18,000, about 90 miles west of Fort Worth, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

The towns of Carbon and Lake Leon were also evacuated and Highway 6 in Carbon was closed, the agency said.

Evacuations were also ordered in Brown and Comanche counties, WFAA adding that a church and other buildings in the town of Ranger had burned.

Strong winds and critically dry grasses helped the fires spread at a fast pace while making it difficult for crews to contain, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

(Production: Deborah Gembara)

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