Wildfires destroy 2 Texas towns, kill 2
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Wildfires fueled by high winds roared across northern Texas, destroying two towns and killing two people, officials said on Friday.
Firefighters battled more than 20 major fires burning across 60,000 acres on Friday, a day after 100,000 acres burned and the small towns of Stoneburg and Sunset in Montague County northwest of Fort Worth were destroyed, according to a statement from Texas Governor Rick Perry.
A couple in Montague County was killed when winds shifted and a fast moving grass fire consumed their home. Their son survived and was taken to a Dallas hospital, local officials said.
Smoke from the fires covered Interstate 35 north of Dallas and slowed traffic. At one point, Highway 287 northwest of Fort Worth had to be closed due to heavy smoke.
Weather conditions were expected to improve later on Friday, with calm winds and higher humidity forecast, officials from the Texas Forest Service said.
Governor Perry has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to declare an emergency for 199 Texas counties that are threatened by the wildfires.
Brush fires also roared through western and central Oklahoma on Thursday, destroying about a hundred homes and injuring more than 30 people, according to local media reports.
(Reporting by Jim Forsyth in San Antonio and Anna Driver in Houston, Editing by Sandra Maler)
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