Perry Declares Disaster Due to Fires

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KENNEDALE, Texas -- Governor Rick Perry Tuesday issued a disaster declaration as more than 70 wildfires blazed around Texas. Perry's office said 73 fires were being fought as of yesterday, mostly in North and Central Texas.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths in the fires.

Perry said he ordered the deployment of Texas Army National Guard assets and requested assistance from the US Forest Service.

Thick white smoke rose above Kennedale, a bedroom community of about 6,100 people just south of Fort Worth. Television footage showed homes damaged, outbuildings in flames and residents spraying hoses and dumping buckets of water at the fire.

Fort Worth Fire Department Lieutenant Kent Worley said the department was helping battle the blaze in Kennedale. The fire jumped US Highway 287 and prompted officials to temporarily shut it down.

North Texas was under a National Weather Service "red flag warning," meaning unusually warm and windy conditions could send such blazes spreading rapidly. The warning was issued because of strong winds, low humidity levels and extremely dry conditions.

Cities where fires were reported included Colleyville, Boyd, Joshua and Denton. Blazes were also reported in counties including Parker, Hood and Tarrant.

A cold front moving through North Texas on Tuesday night will cool the region down, but only to the high 60s.