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Central TX wildfire flames surrounded for now

September 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Authorities said on Thursday that active flames from a massive wildfire in Central Texas were behind containment lines.

Some of the 5,000 residents evacuated from their homes were allowed to return.

Smoldering hotspots remain across some 45 square miles blackened by the Bastrop County blaze. But a spokesman for a team assisting the Texas Forest Service says crews have been able to tame many of the big flames.

The major concern in the fire fight is wind sparking hotspot flare-ups or fanning flames outside the surrounded area, officials said.

Nearly 1,400 homes have been destroyed about 25 miles east of Austin.

Texas just finished the hottest summer on record in U.S. history.

According to the Weather Service, the average temperature in Texas from June to August was 86.8. That average beat out the 85.2 degree average temperature in Oklahoma in 1934.

Texas is in the midst of the worst drought since the 1950s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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