AMARILLO, Texas — Fire crews battled two blazes in the Texas Panhandle on Friday, a day after wildfires scorched 27,000 acres and destroyed at least nine homes north of Amarillo.
Two small towns about 65 miles east of the city were temporarily evacuated Thursday, but the roughly 600 residents of Lefors and Bowers City were allowed to return and no injuries were reported.
"You can call that a bullet dodged," said Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Wayne Beighle.
Last month, a string of wildfires burned nearly a million acres in the area and killed 11 people, leaving residents across the Panhandle on edge.
On Friday, a 5,000-acre blaze near Bowers City was close to being contained, and a 30,000-acre fire near a natural gas plant north of Amarillo was half contained, said Carrie Atchison, spokeswoman for Texas Forest Service. She said the gas plant was not in danger.
Higher humidity, slightly calmer winds and possible showers were forecast for the Panhandle on Friday, but the fire danger rose to the south in an area between Dallas, West Texas and San Antonio, the Texas Forest Service said.
"There is still critical fire danger throughout out that whole region," Atchison said.
© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.