Texas wildfire that’s destroyed 16 homes further contained

An airplane drops fire retardant on a wildfire near Glen Rose, Texas, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero) (LM Otero, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

GLEN ROSE, Texas – A wildfire that has blackened 10 1/2 square miles (27 square kilometers) of North Texas, destroying 16 homes, reached 40% containment Wednesday, double what it had been the day before, officials said.

The multi-agency firefighting team fighting the Chalk Mountain Fire 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Fort Worth said it had completed a fire line around the fire Wednesday. However, the lines are sufficient only to be impervious to further spreading in 40% of the fire zone, primarily its southern reaches.

In a statement, team officials said work continues to improve the lines around the rest of the zone while also attacking stubborn hot spots within the zone’s interior.

No injuries have been reported.

Extreme drought combined with wind gusts and temperatures topping 100 degrees has resulted in destructive wildfires across North Texas. The soil was depleted of moisture at least 8 inches from the surface in the Chalk Mountain area, firefighting team officials said.

This year has been plagued by wildfires fostered by severe to extreme drought throughout the West.

In California, firefighters have been fighting a huge wildfire that spread to a forest near Yosemite National Park, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate mountain communities. The fire is the second to strike the area. Another fire that broke out in the area earlier this month burned to the edge of a grove of giant sequoias.

In New Mexico, a prescribed burn in early April got out of control and grew to the biggest wildfire in the state’s history, blackening more than 500 square miles (1295.00 square kilometers) in the north of the state.