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Large Grassfires Destroy North Texas Homes
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bonzerwolf
A series of fast-moving brush fires destroyed houses in Wise and Montague Counties Thursday afternoon.  

Smoke from the Wise and Montague County fires could be seen on CBS 11's Doppler radar.

The smoke could be smelled in eastern Fort Worth by mid-afternoon and Dallas by late afternoon, blown in by the same high winds that drove the fires.  Winds in the metro area were blowing at 35 to 35 MPH, with gusts to 45.

At 4:50 p.m, the Montague County town of St. Jo was being evacuated.

The elementary school in Bowie was evacuated because of the fire danger.

The Bridgeport ISD canceled home bus service for the afternoon.

In Parker County, firefighters are battling flames near Hudson Oaks.  People in some Hudson Oaks neighborhoods were evacuating voluntarily. 

Lewis Kearney of the Texas Forest Service told CBS 11 News that the agency positioned firefighting teams yesterday because of the danger of fires.  But their helicopters and airplanes could not fly Thursday afternoon because of the high winds.

Kearney said about 300 firefighters from Texas and other states were fighting the fires across Texas.  He also said there are at least 30 fires in Texas that the Texas Forest Service could not get to because of the number of fires throughout the state.

The American Red Cross says it is responding to several fires across North Texas.  They have teams in Wise, Parker, Eastland, Palo Pinto, Archer, Clay, Jack and Wichita Counties.

No injuries have been reported from any of the fires.

The Centers for Disease Control says smoke from brush fires can cause respiratory problems.  Click here for information from the CDC.

Large fires are also burning across Oklahoma, where Interstate 35 has been closed near Stillwater because of the smoke.
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