While rain may help douse some deadly blazes, wildfire danger intensifies for Southwest Texas

Recent fires have damaged at least 147 structures. Experts are concerned the next problem areas could be around Del Rio, San Angelo, San Antonio and Laredo.

By Kristen Cabrera & Laura RiceMarch 21, 2022 1:03 pm, ,

Monday’s rain is welcome as Texas firefighters continue to battle deadly wildfires.

“Days like today, when we do maybe have a little bit of precipitation in the air and some cloud cover, are going to be the days that our crews can really make progress on containing these fires,” Texas A&M Forest Service spokesperson Erin O’Connor told Texas Standard.

But even as the rain helps some parts of Texas, others areas remain at great risk.

“Our state is currently in a drought that just continues to intensify,” O’Connor said. “And so when you have any wildfire ignition on the landscape, under those conditions it is going to spread rapidly and grow quickly.”

Eastland County Deputy Sgt. Barbara Fenley died in an effort to warn and evacuate people from the Eastland Complex fire. As of Monday morning, that fire was burning more than 54,000 acres and was 30% contained.

Related: Drought means increase in wildfire risk, but there are steps you can take to protect your property

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above or read the highlights below.

– The Eastland Complex fire is actually made up of about seven fires that started near one another in Eastland and Brown Counties.

–While the area is rural and the fire is moving through grassland quickly, officials evacuated more than 475 people last Thursday. The fires have damaged at least 147 structures.

– The cause of the fires is under investigation.

– Officials are hopeful rain will help put out the Eastland Complex fire.

– The next big area of concern is in Southwest Texas, near Del Rio, San Angelo, San Antonio and Laredo.

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