About 110,000 Acres and 70 Homes Burn in West Texas Wildfires

Wind-driven wildfires destroyed nearly 70 homes and burned more than 110,000 acres (45,000 hectares) in West Texas, and gusty conditions threatened to wreak further havoc on Feb. 28, authorities said.

Smoke from the fast-moving fires, which stretched through much of the state, blanketed a highway, leading to a traffic accident near Midland that killed a 5-year-old girl and prompting the brief closure of the road Sunday.

Firefighters battled the blazes through Monday.

“It was a busy night,” Texas Forest Service spokesman Lewis Kearney told The Associated Press, noting that some hotspots continued to burn but that no isolated fires seemed to be on the move.

“Nothing is raging this morning” Kearney said.

Downed power lines could have caused several of the fires, and a welder started another blaze, said Mark Stanford of the Texas Forest Service. In the Midland area, sparks from a car’s tire rim started a fire after a tire blew, Stanford said.

Associated Press writers Terry Wallace and Diana Heidgerd contributed to this report from Dallas.