Hundreds forced to evacuate as wildfires burn in central Texas

Hundreds of people are evacuating parts of central Texas as firefighters work to contain wildfires in the state.

As of Friday morning, a number of smaller fires have converged to form a complex fire near Eastland County, burning through almost 50,000 acres, according to the Texas A &M Forest Service. 

Evacuation orders have gone into effect for parts of Eastland, Brown and Comanche counties, a spokesperson for Texas A & M Forest Service told CNN.  

About 475 homes in the town of Gorman have been evacuated with residents instructed to head south, according to an update on the national Inciweb wildfire information system. 

Firefighters have struggled to control the blaze in part due to strong winds and extremely dry grasses which have quickened the fire’s spread, according to an update from Texas A&M Forest Service.  

Powerful winds have moved thick clouds of smoke from the fires all the way to Houston, about 300 miles south of Eastland.  

As of early Friday afternoon, only 4 percent of the Eastland Complex has been contained, meaning that portion of the blaze has been blocked by a river, highway or trench dug by firefighters. 

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