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Texas Wildfires 2011: Season Among Worst In State History (VIDEO)

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TEXAS WILDFIRES 2011
A herd of cattle run from a wildfire near Marfa, Texas, on April 9, 2011. (AP Photo/bigbendnow.com, Alberto Tomas Halpern) | AP

Out of control wildfires continue to wreak havoc on West Texas, an area still recovering from a series of wildfires in recent months.

It's been one of the worst wildfire seasons in state history. Why? Unusually dry weather, combined with an uncommonly cold winter, experts say.

Some 650 blazes have hit 400 square miles particularly hard. "We're pretty vulnerable right now," state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon told Christian Science Monitor. "We need rain."

The most recent activity this weekend devastated Jeff Davis County. The Austin Statesman reported that the town of Fort Davis (population about 1,000) was ravaged by a "giant black lava flow" and 50 homes were destroyed. Firefighters continued to battle the Fort Davis blaze on Monday.

"It was unbelievable, just horrific," Bob Dillard of Jeff Davis County told the Associated Press.
"There were horses on fire, buildings on fire, houses on fire."

The Texas Forest Service responded to 12 wildfires in all on Sunday, involving some 22,432 acres, including a pair of new fires. It has confronted 83 fires in the past week.

In February, more than 110,000 acres and 68 homes were destroyed. No one has died in the wildfires yet this year, per the AP, but the conditions are ripe for the fires to continue.

WATCH (raw footage of Texas wildfires this weekend): WATCH (raw footage of Texas wildfires in March 2011):

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