AMARILLO, Texas – Two wildfires erupted in this dry and windy Texas Panhandle city Thursday, destroying three homes, threatening about 40 others and prompting evacuation warnings, Texas Forest Service officials said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
About 400 acres were burning, though exact estimates were difficult because wind gusts topping 50 mph forced the Forest Service to ground its aircraft, spokeswoman Traci Weaver said.
"It's pretty bad," Weaver said. "Our biggest concern is the wind and relative humidity is very similar to what we saw March 12; hopefully it's not a repeat."
On March 12, hundreds of blazes broke out in the parched region, burning some 960,000 acres and killing 11 people. Since Dec. 26, more than 11,000 fires have burned about 4.9 million acres and destroyed about 400 homes, according to Gov. Rick Perry's office.
On Thursday, high winds grounded single-engine tanker planes; an air tanker was en route from New Mexico, Weaver said.
Amarillo is about 335 miles northwest of Dallas.