Fireman Dies After Sustaining Injuries in Panhandle Fire Earlier This Month

A hospital spokesman says a Texas firefighter injured while battling a Panhandle wildfire earlier this month has died. Spokesman Eric Finley of University Medical Center in Lubbock said Elias Jacquez of Cactus, Texas, died overnight. He suffered third-degree burns over 60 percent of body in an April 9 fire. He had been hospitalized in critical condition. The fire charred 60,000 acres in an area about 40 miles north of Amarillo. Jacquez is the second firefighter to die battling blazes that have charred more than 1.4 million acres this year in Texas.

In other fire weather news, officials say all evacuation orders have been lifted for a stubborn but remote West Texas wildfire that has burned about 150,000 acres. The Texas Forest Service said Wednesday residents were cleared to return to an area about 250 miles west of Dallas. Several communities and hundreds of homes were threatened, but the agency lists no structure damage. A converted DC-10 jetliner, one of the biggest firefighting planes in the world, was used on the Wildcat Fire. More favorable conditions are making the fires around Possum Kingdom Lake easier to fight. 150 homes and 150,000 have burned in the past week at the lake. Nationwide teams are being brought in to fight that fire.

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