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Evacuation Order Lifted as Texas Wildfires Burn amid Heat

A mandatory evacuation order issued because of a wildfire in North Texas has been lifted as the threat of fires remained high Wednesday in the state due to hot temperatures, winds and drought conditions, officials said.

Hood County said the order was lifted Tuesday night, hours after it was issued for a rural area south of Tolar, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southwest of Fort Worth, due to the Chalk Mountain Fire.

The fire has burned about 9 square miles (23 square kilometers), destroyed at least a dozen structures and was about 10% contained, Texas A&M Forest Services said.

It was not clear how many of the structures were homes, Forest Services spokesperson Mary Leathers said.

County emergency management officials did not immediately return a phone call for comment early Wednesday.

Crews were also fighting a fire at Possum Kingdom Lake, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Fort Worth, that has burned about 500 acres (202 hectares) and at least five homes and was also about 10% contained, according to the agency.

The agency has used bulldozers to dig containment lines around the fires and aircraft to drop water on the flames.

No injuries have been reported as a result of either fire.

A combination of near-record and record temperatures approaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) combined with breezes gusting as high as 30 mph (40-50 kph) and drought conditions leave the region ripe for fire, the forest service said.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag fire warning and excessive heat warnings for northern and central Texas and western and eastern Oklahoma for Wednesday.

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