Four Killed in Panhandle Wildfires

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelMarch 8, 2017 11:14 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The Texas A&M Forest Service reports wildfires in the Texas Panhandle have killed three people in Gray County and one person in Hemphill County. The Perryton Fire, still burning in the Panhandle, has scorched about 300-thousand acres, destroyed two homes and, as of this morning, was 60-percent contained.

Governor Greg Abbott has sent resources from the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System to help first responders.
“That is cities helping other cities and helping other communities. It’s using our local resources in state and giving them training and some funding to be able to go in and assist other regions in the state,” Texas A&M Forest Service spokesman Phillip Truitt says.

The Texas A&M Forest Service says the danger forecast for wildfires today ranks high to very high from the Texas Panhandle down to Wichita Falls.

The February 8th detention of a Houston man is having an impact on his community. Houston Public Media’s Eddie Robinson explains:

“The upcoming deportation of a Guatemalan man who ran a popular taco truck in southwest Houston is spreading some fear in that part of town. Jose is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico that knows Armando Garcia who was detained by ICE agents three weeks ago. He says the recent raids and deportations have made him and his family rethink their priorities.

‘That’s what we’re trying to do given the situation here, we’re sending to Mexico the little bit of money we have in the bank,’ Jose says.

“ICE said in a statement Garcia had originally been deported in 1994 and was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2002 after re-entering the country illegally.”

A Waco-area meat processor is challenging the Texas Agriculture Commissioner’s methods for controlling the state’s feral hog population.

Last month, Sid Miller issued a rule change that allowed the use of a pesticide called Kaput which acts as a blood thinner and gradually kills the animals. Miller said its introduction would help usher in the “Hog Apocalypse.”

Will Herring is co-owner of the Wild Boar Meat Company. Herring got a temporary injunction against the new rule at the end of last week. Now, he’s working with lawmakers to get a bill filed.

“Our bill is pretty simple,” Herring says. “It basically says we’d like a state agency or a public educational institution of Texas to study any and all poisons that will be used to poison feral hogs before they’re used. That’s really key – before – we want to study it before all this gets released.”

Herring says Australia used to use a similar poison to kill feral hogs but eventually outlawed the practice because it was deemed too cruel. He adds that he has found no publicly-available studies on the effect of using Kaput to kill feral hogs.

The deadline to file bills during the 85th legislative session is this Friday, March 10.