Texas sheriff: Area hit by fire won't recover soon - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Texas sheriff: Area hit by fire won't recover soon

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Debris and burned trees are shown on Monday, April 18, 2011, a day after a massive wildfire ravaged the Austin, Texas, wildfire. The fire damaged at least 21 homes. Debris and burned trees are shown on Monday, April 18, 2011, a day after a massive wildfire ravaged the Austin, Texas, wildfire. The fire damaged at least 21 homes.

POSSUM KINGDOM LAKE, Texas (AP) — A Texas sheriff says a once-picturesque lakeside community will take years to recover since it's been ravaged by a massive wildfire.

Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer says he doesn't know when residents will be allowed to return to the Possum Kingdom Lake area. That's where a fire started a week ago and has since destroyed about 160 of the community's 3,000 homes.

Firefighters made more progress Thursday in containing the blaze that's blackened nearly 150 square miles in three North Texas counties.

The blaze is one of several burning in the state, including two massive wildfires in West Texas.

In Possum Kingdom Lake, about 70 miles west of Fort Worth, some homes are now heaps of ashes while others were untouched by flames. Some fields are blackened.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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