US & Canada

Texas wildfire crews gaining ground

Texas firefighters say they have contained 30% of the state's most destructive wildfire in years.

Efforts to contain the Bastrop County blaze, which has razed about 45 sq miles (116 sq km) of land, have been aided by a second day of milder winds.

The Bastrop fire is the biggest of more than 170 that have broken out across Texas in the past week, torching more than 1,000 homes.

The forest service says it responded to 19 new fires on Wednesday.

The Bastrop fire extended 24 miles (39km) long and 20 miles at its widest point. It has consumed 785 homes.

About 1,200 firefighters are on the ground, including crews from the states of California and Oregon.

Texas Forest Service spokeswoman April Saginor said a second day of lighter winds on Wednesday were helping crews to subdue the blaze.

The blazes have kindled amid one of the worst droughts Texas has ever seen, while winds from Tropical Storm Lee have stoked the flames.

The firefighters have been struggling to refill at parched lakes and rivers across Texas.

More than 3.6m acres (1.5m ha) have been scorched by wildfires in the state since the end of last year.

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