Texas continues to be ravaged by the worst fire season in state history

By Nick Fiorillo, Editor-in-Chief

Even though it was a pretty mild summer for the Pacific Northwest, many residents complained about how summer came late and didn’t start getting nice until near the end. But in reality, the people of Texas had it much worse.

Texas had record droughts this past summer. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, as of Sept. 13, there was not a single county in Texas that had not experienced drought. Also, approximately 88 percent of the state was in drought level D4, the highest level on the scale.

With extreme droughts in Texas, things dried up fast and made perfect fuel for any fire.

Fires have devastated the state of Texas this fire season. According to the Texas Forest Service, since fire season began on Nov. 15, 2010, Texas Forest Service and area fire departments have responded to 22,602 fires. These wildfires have burned 3.7 million acres, an area larger than the state of Connecticut and have destroyed over 2,700 homes.

People were forced to abandon their homes, businesses, everything they knew.  A Texas woman who was forced to evacuate told ABC News, “While we were grabbing our things you could feel the heat of the fire and there was smoke in our house already.”

Not only did these fires have a terrible impact on so many lives, it had an extremely large financial impact.

Mark Hana, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, told CNN that the wildfires could have a cost of over $250 million to homeowners. Between the economic impacts from the gigantic wildfires and horrendous droughts, it is going to end up being one extremely expensive summer for the state of Texas.

Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry took a break from his campaign to return to his state and observe the extensive damage.

“I have seen a number of big fires in my life…this one is as mean looking as I’ve ever seen,” Perry told ABC News.

Perhaps the rain isn’t so bad after all.