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Texas wildfire updates: Latest containment and acreage numbers as fires continue

Crews are continuing to battle sprawling fires in Eastland County that began Thursday afternoon.

EASTLAND COUNTY, Texas — Wildfires in Eastland County had burned about 54,000 acres by 8 p.m. Saturday, and only one of them had been 100% contained as dry, windy conditions persisted. 

Crews are continuing to battle sprawling fires in Eastland County that began Thursday afternoon.

Here are the latest updates

There were four main fires burning in Eastland County early Saturday: Kidd Fire (34,000 acres), Wheatfield Fire (5,000 acres), Oak Mott Fire (6,000 acres) and the Walling Fire (383 acres).

While these fires were in different locations around Eastland County, the Texas A&M Forest Service was referring to the overall incident as the Eastland Complex at a total of about 40,000 acres. 

A total of 54,015 acres had burned by 8 p.m. Saturday, with the fire 30% contained. 

The Texas A&M Forest Service says at least 50 homes have burned.

Crews early Friday were focusing on "life safety and structure protection as well as constructing containment lines where possible," according to an update from the Forest Service. On Saturday, officials said aviation resources included three Xwing planes that dump water, two helicopters and three large air tankers.

Volunteers with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief (SBTC Disaster Relief) were sent Saturday to Eastland County to respond to the wildfires. A team began serving breakfast to survivors and first responders in Carbon. The crew is expected to serve about 100 hot meals twice a day as needed. 

Ways to help

There are numerous ways people can help those who are affected by the wildfires in Eastland County and other surrounding areas.

Relief funds and donation drop-off locations have been set up. More information on how to help and receive help can be found here.

Disaster declaration

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration on Friday for 11 counties in response to the wildfires.

Those counties are: Brooks, Brown, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Grayson, Mason, Potter, Randall, Reynolds and Williamson.

The disaster declaration allows the use of all available state resources to aid in fighting the fires.

Texas Department of Emergency Management assessment

The Texas Department of Emergency Management is asking residents to help the state department assess the damage caused by the wildfires. This can help the state determine the best ways to assist affected residents.

The survey can be found here.

Disaster assistance

Eastland ISD says disaster assistance from the Texas Department of Emergency Management can be found at Siebert Elementary at 100 Little Maverick Trail, Eastland, TX 76448.

Residents can also report damage at the location. They will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the district.

Raw footage of the fires burning in Eastland County on Thursday night:

Friday morning, crews had requested air support to help fight the fires. Aviation crews were available to help, but high winds were likely to keep them grounded from time to time, according to the Forest Service.

"The aircraft will be beneficial to helping slow the spread of the fire and helping to protect structures while ground crews work to build containment lines around the fires and focus on structure protection," Forest Service spokesperson Erin O'Connor said in an update Friday morning.

Aviation crews will include three fire boss single-engine tankers, three large air tankers, two helicopters and a chinook.

O'Connor confirmed there were reports of structures being impacted by the fire, though more information was not yet available.

WFAA was able to confirm with residents in the town of Carbon in Eastland County that fires destroyed several homes in that area. 

Friday afternoon, WFAA learned Eastland County Deputy Barbara Fenley died as she was trying to save people from the wildfires, the Cisco Police Department and her son said in Facebook posts. 

Fenley's son Jon thanked the community and the outpouring of support following the news of his mother's death. 

RELATED: 'She was a special servant': Eastland Co. deputy dies trying to save others in wildfires, police say

The Forest Service planned to assess structure damage Friday.

The Eastland Complex wasn't the only series of fires burning in Texas on Friday. According to the Forest Service, there were about 10 active fires burning across the state, blowing smoke from Dallas to Houston as strong winds were happening across Texas.

Here's a map from Inciweb of where each fire is located:

Credit: Inciweb

A happy ending

While the fires grew rapidly overnight, there was one bit of good news WFAA reporter Matt Howerton and photojournalist Josh Stephen had to pass along. 

They were covering a fire south of Eastland when they found a stranded dog named Fifty. Fortunately, they were able to get in contact with the dog's owners, who came to pick Fifty up. The dog, who was understandably scared, ran off while his family was trying to evacuate earlier in the day.

Watch the reunion video:

Ranger fire

On Thursday evening, in a separate fire, heavy flames filled the nearby city of Ranger's downtown area and engulfed historic structures including the police department building and a 100-year-old church.

Video taken by the Eastland County Today newspaper showed crews working to put out the fire at the historic Second Baptist Church and the police station.

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