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Seven dead in TX wildfires

Wildfires killed seven people and burned more than 663,000 acres in Texas on Monday in one of the biggest fires in the state's recent history.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | March 13, 2006

Wildfires killed seven people and burned more than 663,000 acres in Texas on Monday in one of the biggest fires in the state's recent history.

Several homes were burned but damage assessors said that by daylight the damage tally would grow. Worst-hit areas were along the border of Gray and Donley counties in the Texas Panhandle.

Eight to 10 structures were destroyed near Borger, about 40 miles northeast of Amarillo, according to local emergency management reports. Another 15 to 20 structures were lost between Pampa and McLean.

Scores of people were evacuated, though some were allowed to return home Monday morning.

Wind gusts of 55 mph and dry weather helped spread the blazes. Forecasters said cooler temperatures were expected for Monday but winds will be at least 15 mph.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared a disaster in January when deadly wildfires swept through the drought-stricken state, taking three lives and burning more than 340 homes.


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