Officials said trees falling on two separate power lines were the likely cause of Texas’ massive wildfire that resulted in two deaths and the destruction of more than 1,500 homes.
The Texas Forest Service reported that a dead pine tree collapsed onto a power line in the early hours of Sept. 4 and pulled it away from its circuit box, sending sparks flying.
(PHOTOS: Wildfire Burns Across Central Texas)
A second fire ignited around the same time when strong winds broke off the top of a tree which then got entangled with another power line. The two fires eventually merged, resulting in the monster blaze known as the Bastrop Complex fire.
At the beginning of September, 19o wildfires broke out in the drought-stricken state, fueled by the dry air, sweltering heat and strong winds. The Bastrop Complex fire began on Labor Day weekend and forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.
Firefighters from every state except Hawaii have contributed to the around-the-clock effort to fight the fire, which is now 95% contained. This past weekend’s heavy rainfall helped suppress the flames but provided scant relief from the dry conditions that have plagued Texas this year.