Texas wildfires scorch nearly 36,000 hectares

Wildfires were spreading across Texas, scorching about 35,630 hectares, destroying scores of homes and forcing the evacuation of the town of Matador, 420 kilometres northeast of Fort Worth.
Homeowner Ronnie Coburn drops the garden hose and runs as flames jump a fence line near his home on Tangleaire Point in Texas on Sunday. (Michael Schumacher/Associated Press)
Wildfires spread on Monday across Texas, scorching about 35,630 hectares, destroying scores of homes and forcing the evacuation of the town of Matador, 420 kilometres northeast of Fort Worth.

Heavy smoke was also blamed for an eight-vehicle accident that killed a five-year-old girl.

The Texas Forest Service said the largest fire burned about 12 hectares northeast of Amarillo, destroying 27 homes. The only injury reported was a firefighter who suffered second-degree burns during a blaze near Colorado City, about 380 kilometres west of Dallas.

The entire town of Matador had been evacuated, and all school classes were  cancelled for Monday, NBC reported.

Firefighters had worked overnight to extinguish the fire, but high winds limited containment to about 50 per cent

The flames also forced the closing of an interstate highway.

Fires were also reported to have been started in Lubbock and Amarillo.

With files from The Associated Press