Cost of Texas wildfires hits record

Sept. 13, 2011 at 6:25 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Recent wildfires in Central Texas are the costliest in the state's history with a $250 million price tag, the Insurance Council of Texas said.

In 2009 wildfires statewide caused about $115 million in damage, while the destruction from the current Bastrop Country wildfire is already at $150 million, council spokesman Mark Hanna told the Austin American-Statesman Monday.

"There's just no comparison to any other wildfires we've ever experienced," Hanna said.

Firefighting teams worked Monday to control final stubborn flare-ups in the massive, week-old Bastrop blaze that consumed 34,000 acres, and said it was 70 percent contained Monday night.

"It seems like we've got a really good handle on the remaining fires," Nim Kidd, the state's emergency management director, said. "But we've still got work to do."

The fires were "not growing on the outside, but there are active areas inside the fire zone," Kidd said.

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