See How Fast the Texas Wildfires Spread

This video from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife shows how quickly forest fires can spread across bone-dry land on a windy day

Texas’s worst drought in history is rapidly turning into the state's most violent forest fire season ever.

Fueled by winds from Tropical Storm Lee, 118,413 acres (185 square miles) of fire burned over Labor Day weekend, destroying at least 700 homes in a two-day period. Since the start of the wildfire season last November, nearly 1,500 homes have been consumed.

Nearly every inch of Texas has been in a state of extreme or exceptional drought the entire summer, which is devastating the agricultural economy. The Financial Times reports the drought combined with the forest fires have caused $5.2 billion worth of damage so far. This number is likely to rise as the fires continue to burn and as rain avoids the area. However, there is some hope. Today, winds have died down and firefighters are beginning to contain the blaze.

For more videos by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Office, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/. 

Brian Resnick is a staff correspondent at National Journal and a former producer of The Atlantic's National channel.

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