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Multiple wildfires out of control in Texas

Several forest fires have gotten out of control in the US state of Texas. Governor Abbott declared 60 counties disaster areas. The flames also threaten a facility that dismantles nuclear weapons.

Several forest fires are blazing in Texas. Authorities said some of the fires were out of control due to unusually high temperatures and strong winds. Republican Governor Greg Abbott declared 60 counties a disaster area.

According to Texas authorities, the largest fire has now burned around 1,040 square kilometers of land. This means that the area has more than doubled since the eruption on Monday. Several highways had to be closed due to the flames. Authorities said the fire was “zero percent contained” so far. It is not yet clear what caused the fire.

“Texans are urged to limit activities that could generate sparks and take precautions to protect their loved ones,” Abbott said. A sparsely populated, hilly area is affected.

Nuclear facility threatened by flames

A nuclear facility had to be evacuated due to the fires. “We evacuated our non-essential personnel from the site out of an abundance of caution,” said Laef Pendergraft, spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration's production office. He emphasized that “we have a well-equipped fire department, trained for such scenarios, who are on site, watching and ready in the event of a real emergency occurring on the site of the facility.”

The Pantex facility, located approximately 50 kilometers east of the city of Amarillo, has been the most important assembly and dismantling facility for US nuclear weapons since 1975. The last bomb was assembled there in 1991. Since then, thousands of weapons have been dismantled.

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