Crews clear fire lines as North Texas wildfires slow advance

Jul 22, 2022, 3:52 AM | Updated: 3:54 pm

GLEN ROSE, Texas (AP) — Fire crews worked to extend and strengthen fire lines Friday as diminished winds and higher humidity slowed the advance of North Texas wildfires, officials said.

The biggest blaze, the Chalk Mountain Fire, did not spread significantly after it blackened 10 1/2 square miles (27 square kilometers) of land, the Southern Area Blue, Type I Incident Management Team said in a statement.

Although it was only 10% contained, crews were making progress clearing a fire line along the northern head of the blaze to link the eastern and western flanks, where fire lines were complete, team officials said.

But drought has left the brush tinder dry and highly flammable in the area about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Fort Worth. Crews on Friday continued to mop up small fires along the eastern and western flanks while strengthening and improving the fire lines.

The fire has destroyed 16 homes, Somervell County Judge David Chambers said. He renewed a disaster declaration Friday, citing the need for extraordinary fire prevention measures and the potential need for evacuation.

Little to no fire active remains of the 457-acre (185-hectare) Possum Kingdon Lake fire about 70 miles (112 kilometers) west of Fort Worth, according to a team statement.

However, “elevated potential for fire activity is present as fuels surrounding the fire’s perimeter remain extremely dry and at an increased risk of ignition,” according to the Friday statement. “Firefighters will remain diligent as the probability of ignition remains high, as does the potential for extreme fire behavior if activity increases.”

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Crews clear fire lines as North Texas wildfires slow advance