The Texas wildfires that have scorched over one million acres across the state have not yet subsided, multiple news outlets report. On Tuesday alone, firefighters had to contend with 11 new blazes while still managing the 20 existing fires that have raged for the past several weeks in all but two of the state's 254 counties.
Although each of wildfires may have been instigated by different circumstances due to the unusually dry season and drought, days ago a homeless man was charged with arson in connection with one of the fires. The Texas Forest Service has estimated that, of the 8,000 fires that have occurred in the state this year, a majority were set "by hand, either on purpose or unintentionally," the Christian Science Monitor relayed.
In response, Governor Rick Perry has stated that he'd like to see harsher penalties for those who commit arson (currently it's punishable by two to thirty years in prison). "I think that is one of the most heinous things people can do is to go start a fire," he told a local NBC affiliate.
To succinctly describe what's happening in the state today, many news outlets ran with this quote uttered by a Texas Forest Service spokesperson April Saginor:
"We're actually seeing Texas burn from border to border. We've got it in West Texas, in East Texas, in North Texas, in South Texas - it's all over the state...We've got one in the Dallas area that's four fires that have actually merged together."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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