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Firefighters in Texas

Photo: Flower Mound Texas Fire Department / REUTERS

The fire department is fighting several rapidly spreading forest fires in the US state of Texas.

Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 60 communities on Tuesday so that aid could be better coordinated centrally.

The fires in the north of the state threatened inhabited areas that had to be evacuated.

“Texans are urged to limit activities that could generate sparks and take precautions to ensure the safety of their loved ones,” the governor warned.

The flames are fanned by strong winds.

In addition, there are unusually high temperatures and dried out grass areas.

Abbott expects weather conditions in the region will not improve in the coming days - and the wildfires could become even larger and more dangerous.

By Tuesday, the fire had nearly doubled in size.

According to media reports, the fire has burned more than 780 square kilometers of land in 24 hours and is spreading quickly.

Officials go door to door

The small Texas town of Canadian near the border with the state of Oklahoma is particularly at risk.

»It looks like the end of the world.

All the trees are covered in white ash,” a shopkeeper in the city told CNN.

The access roads were now no longer passable.

Residents were asked to seek shelter at home or in the school gym.

In the small town of Pampa, about 40 miles southwest of Canadian, officials are going door to door to get residents to evacuate.

The first fires are also reported in the state of Nebraska.

The biggest fire to date was apparently caused by a lawnmower.

One of the Texas fires also jumped the state line into Oklahoma.

There are also initial calls to evacuate there.