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Cost of containing fires throughout the state has spiralled to more than $8million
22 separate blazes burning throughout Texas
One fire in Stephen County increased in acreage by nearly 90,000 in just 24 hours
Hundreds have been evacuated and fears grow of flames spreading to big cities
Some fires burning dangerously close to Oklahoma border, where conditions are also ripe for spread
Rain forecast for next few days giving weary firefighters some hope
Wildfires, raging for more than a week in Texas, have so far burned through a million acres of land and racked up more than $8million in containment costs.
Firefighters continue to battle some 22 separate blazes throughout the state, with some dangerously close to the Oklahoma border. Homes have been gutted, animals killed and hundreds of residents have been forced to leave their homes because of the advancing flames.
One of the wildfires in PK West, Stephens County, increased in size by a staggering 87,238 acres in just 24 hours - a 144 per cent increase.
Even prisons have been emptied in some towns. The drought-stricken state, that experienced its driest March on record, is desperately hoping for the rain that has been forecast in the coming days.
Hot, dry weather returns to Texas this week, whisking away the limited relief scattered thunderstorms brought to firefighters in parts of the Lone Star state over the weekend.
In a trifecta of potentially bad news for fire crews, the Texas Forest Service said a low-pressure system will push temperatures into the 90s, humidity to 10% or less and winds up to 45 mph on Monday and Tuesday.
The conditions have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for a large portion of west Texas, urging residents to avoid the use of open flames and to avoid activities that may generate sparks.
Because of the hot temperatures, bone-dry conditions and high winds, "accidental ignitions will have the potential to grow quickly into dangerous wind-driven wildfires," the weather service said.