Wind hampers crews battling fires

Published 12:42 am Monday, April 6, 2009

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 percent 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.

Email newsletter signup

She said the Wheeler blaze burned four homes and damaged 20 others.

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. That fire was about 65 percent contained Sunday.

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