Strong Wind Hampers Crews Battling Texas Fires

WHEELER, Texas (AP) - Strong wind on Sunday hampered fire crews'
efforts to control several Texas wildfires that had destroyed four
homes and damaged about 20 others.

The largest fire, an 11,000-acre blaze near the Texas-Oklahoma state line, was about 25 contained but wind gusting to 35 mph made it difficult to maintain fire lines, Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Jeanne Eastham said Sunday.

"Anytime you have the wind, it makes it harder to control the fire," Eastham said.

She said the blaze near Wheeler, where the homes were burned, was about 65 percent contained Sunday.

The town of about 1,300 residents was temporarily evacuated Saturday after the fire jumped the North Fork of the Red River. Residents returned home late in the day.

Another fire, which had blackened about 2,100 acres in Jack County northwest of Fort Worth, also forced temporary evacuations of more than a dozen homes Saturday, but residents there were allowed back by midnight.

Forest Service officials said 24 firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation Saturday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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