Texas governor calls for prayers for rain amid fires

AUSTIN, Texas Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:34pm EDT

1 of 4. Texas Governor Rick Perry makes remarks at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC) in Washington, February 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick Perry called on Texans to pray for rain as cooler temperatures on Thursday helped firefighters contain wildfires that have charred more than 1.5 million acres across the state.

Perry, a Republican, sought increased federal help in combating the blazes last weekend and urged Texans to ask the same from a higher power over the Easter holiday weekend.

"Throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer," Perry said in a statement.

"It is fitting that Texans should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this ongoing drought and these devastating wildfires."

A wave of moisture and cooler weather had already helped the roughly 1,800 firefighters and support crews contain nine fires and make headway against many more by Thursday morning.

But conditions fueling the fast-moving wildfires that killed two volunteer firefighters and destroyed 200 homes this month would not ease for good, officials warned.

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Jerry Norton)

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