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Crews make progress in containing massive Texas wildfire

March 22, 2022 GMT
Seth Griffin sorts through the ashes of his mother's home searching for coins they collected together on Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Carbon, Texas, following the Eastland Complex Fire. (Rebecca Slezak/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Seth Griffin sorts through the ashes of his mother's home searching for coins they collected together on Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Carbon, Texas, following the Eastland Complex Fire. (Rebecca Slezak/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
Seth Griffin sorts through the ashes of his mother's home searching for coins they collected together on Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Carbon, Texas, following the Eastland Complex Fire. (Rebecca Slezak/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
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Seth Griffin sorts through the ashes of his mother's home searching for coins they collected together on Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Carbon, Texas, following the Eastland Complex Fire. (Rebecca Slezak/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
1 of 10
Seth Griffin sorts through the ashes of his mother's home searching for coins they collected together on Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Carbon, Texas, following the Eastland Complex Fire. (Rebecca Slezak/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

EASTLAND, Texas (AP) — Firefighting crews were making progress containing a massive Texas wildfire that was blamed for last week’s death of a deputy, officials said.

The Eastland Complex has burned about 85 square miles (220 square kilometers) since a series of fires broke out last week in an area 120 miles (193 kilometers) west of Dallas. The fires were about 60% contained as of Monday night, up from 30% containment a day before, according to Texas A&M Forest Service.

The fire has burned 147 structures so far and led to the death of Deputy Sgt. Barbara Fenley, who died while going door-to-door telling residents to evacuate, officials said.

“The extreme conditions present across the state last week, greatly impacted several communities and the Texans that live there,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “These communities endured significant loss and we grieve with you.”

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In Ranger, Texas, a man was arrested over the weekend on felony arson charges in connection with a fire that destroyed several structures, including a 103-year-old church, police said.

Overall, crews have responded to 178 wildfires that have burned nearly 170 square miles (440 square kilometers) statewide since last Thursday, officials said.