Eastland County wildfire takes life of County Deputy, destroys 40 homes

More than 40 homes were destroyed as the Eastland County complex wildfire burns for more than 45,000 acres. On Friday, fire crews were able to get it to 10 percent containment.

"We are not out of danger yet," said Eastland Fire Chief Joe Williamson.

Homes were destroyed, cars were mangled and neighborhoods are smoldering due to the wildfire.

The wildfire claimed the life of Eastland County Deputy Barbara Fenley. She died while helping people evacuate. 

"We have great appreciation for her service for stepping and doing what law enforcement officials do every single day. They put their lives on the line," said Governor Greg Abbott.

Local fire crews were grateful for the aid that came across the state. 

"Our local resources are taxed and fatigued. The state is coming, and we just can't thank them enough," said Chief Williamson.

"The vegetation is gone. It looks like a lunar landscape," said Eastland County judge Rex Fields.

Governor Greg Abbott met with local officials in the area to update containment efforts. He said the shifting winds Thursday made it difficult for crews to battle the multiple blazes. 

"Fortunately now we are able to provide aircraft that are able to drop fire deterrent material and water."

The Eastland County complex wildfire is larger than other fires in Texas history, including the devastating Bastrop wildfire in 2011, which was 34,356 acres.

Crews from across the state are working around the clock in an effort to prevent more destruction.

Editor's note: This article previously stated the Eastland Complex Fires as the largest in Texas history, however the Texas A&M Forest Service says this is not the case.

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