09.06.11

Texas Blaze Destroys 1,000 Homes

The worst single fire in the state’s history has scorched 100,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate—all within an uncomfortable range of the capital, Austin. See the most striking pictures and videos.

The wildfire currently raging in Texas’s Bastrop County near Austin is the single worst blaze in the state's history: it has burned 1,000 homes so far, more than any previous fire in the state. The fire—one of at least 63 currently burning in the state—has scorched 100,000 acres so far, fueled, in part, by strong winds from Tropical Storm Lee. Gov. Rick Perry returned from presidential campaigning to offer assistance and said he would seek a federal-disaster declaration.

Photos: Texas Wildfires
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Firefighters from around the state battle a large wildfire on Highway 71 near Smithville, Texas, Monday, Sep. 5, 2011. A roaring wildfire raced unchecked Monday through rain-starved farm and ranchland in Texas, destroying nearly 500 homes during a rapid advance fanned in part by howling winds from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. (Erich Schlegel / AP Photo)