Last of fire-weary Texans get all-clear to go home

BASTROP, Texas (AP) -- Officials say the last of thousands of central Texas residents forced to flee a massive and devastating wildfire have been allowed to return to their homes.

Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald said Thursday that the wildfire that burned about 50,000 square miles and killed two people is about 75 percent contained. The fire burning since Sept. 3 has destroyed nearly 1,600 homes in the area about 25 miles east of Austin.

County emergency management coordinator Mike Fisher says there's only one person whose whereabouts remain unknown. But he says friends told officials the man might have traveled to Arizona several weeks ago.

Spokeswoman April Saginor says the weather outlook for further containing the fire over the next few days is encouraging across Texas, including even the possibility of rain.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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