Firefighters getting the upper hand in PK fire

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on August 31, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 31 at 7:05 PM

PALO PINTO COUNTY - Fire crews reported on Wednesday morning that they are starting to get the upper hand in the wildfires that are raging through the Possum Kingdom area.

The report comes after flames destroyed at least 25 homes.

From the air, the devastation is hard to describe. On the ground, it looks as if a bomb went off and destroyed everything in its path.

Downed power lines are sparking smaller fires. Hot spots flare up without warning.

Palo Pinto Sheriff Ira Mercer said 5,130 acres of land have been burned.

35 volunteer fire departments are in the area working with Texas Forest Service crews. While it does not look like much is going on, there are plenty of hot spots and the potential for more danger on Wednesday afternoon.

"It's not far-fetched to say that it's burned half of our county," said Mercer. "It’s devastating. This is a resort area, but they're rebuilding."

The key to what will happen next depends on weather conditions between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Officials said if the humidity dropped and the wind picked up, more homes could be threatened.

Firefighting equipment will be brought to the area to help fight the fires. Those include three heavy air crafts, two large helicopters, five single-engine planes and a large DC-10 coming in from California.

One civilian was treated for injuries at a local hospital and two firefighters were treated on the scene with minor injuries.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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