PALO PINTO COUNTY — The dangerous situation continued near Possum Kingdom Lake late Monday night as the massive wildfire west of Fort Worth burned out of control.
Around 4 p.m. — the hottest part of the afternoon — winds picked up and the fire took a turn for homes.
Four large fires linked, burning an estimated 63,000 acres.
From the air, a fire line could be seen about a mile long toward the southern part of the lake. The Texas Forest Service says 32 homes and one church have been destroyed since the fires began last week.
Firefighters called in reinforcements Monday night after the fire consumed several homes around the lake.
Monday evening, the horizon glowed orange from the fires that continued to burn through thousands of acres near Possum Kingdom Lake.
Units from Keller, Watauga, Euless and Colleyville joined the battle to control the huge blaze that was formed by at least four separate and smaller fires. They are using urban firefighting equipment to try and stop the fast-moving rural wildfire.
As flames crept over a ridge near the Sportsman's World subdivision, homes were swallowed by smoke and fire.
WFAA witnessed one home that was devoured by flames in less than five minutes.
Firefighters and police patrolled nearby roads asking homeowners to leave. They also cut livestock loose from their burning pastures.
On Hell's Gate Drive, Fort Worth-area firefighters moved in to save one house. They felled surrounding cedar trees to create a perimeter, and they sprayed Hodge Ranch with fire-retardant foam to shield it from any stray embers.
With hoses at the ready and winds settling down for the night, Hodge Ranch appeared to be safe. But firefighters still said they are losing the battle against the flames that continue to climb hillsides while racing toward more homes in Palo Pinto and neighboring Stephens counties.
The owner of Hodge Ranch told News 8 she was safe with her daughter in Fort Worth on Monday night, praying for the safety of her home, her neighbors' homes, and all of the firefighters who are working to protect their property from further damage.
Some of the volunteer firefighters have been working since last Friday. Now their battle is against both the flames and fatigue.
As night fell, you could see devastation in the hills and desperation in the faces.
"You've just got to be here, is all I've got to say," said a volunteer from the Lone Camp VFD near Mineral Wells.
James Coker, another volunteer, was asked where he's sleeping at night. "On the truck, on the ground... wherever it's safe," he said.
The Lone Camp unit was patrolling an upscale development called Sportsman's World. Most of that subdivision was on fire.
"We're doing everything we can to save all we can," said volunteer Cody Carter.
Earlier, we watched volunteers light backfires in an effort to keep flames from jumping across Highway 337.
"These are our neighbors," said 69-year-old volunteer firefighter John Burgoyne from Parker County. "If this happened in Parker County, all the Palo Pinto guys and Jack County guys... all those guys would be helping us. That's the way it works."
But out here, with these wildfires hopping from place to place, almost nothing is working.
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