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Arson Drought United States Weather Wildfire

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Raging Texas wildfires kill at least two people and destroy hundreds of homes

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Reuters/Mike Stone

At least two people have died and around 500 homes destroyed by wildfires across the US state of Texas in some of the worst blazes in the region’s history. The fires, fanned by winds from a tropical depression that hit the southern US over the weekend, have been fuelled by tinder left dry by a summer drought in some of the worst blazes in the region’s history.


In East Texas, a fast-moving fire is believed to have killed a 20-year-old woman and her child, who failed to get out of their trailer home fast enough.

Mass evacuations are being carried out as weather forecasts predict the worst is yet to come.

"There will be more flare-ups with the cool air," a spokeswoman for the Texas Forest Service said on Monday, referring to a predicted drop in temperatures later this week.

Over the weekend, firefighters responded to 63 blazes that have burned approximately 32,936 acres, according to local officials.

Arson has been ruled out as the cause of the fires and with the finger of blame pointing at Tropical Depression Lee, which was graded as a more serious tropical storm when it came ashore in southern Louisiana early on Sunday.

Since the beginning of the wildfire season, Texas has dealt with over 20,900 fires that have destroyed more than 1,000 homes and burned 3.6 million acres, according to local and state officials.