Watch Live: Jumbo jet heads to Riley Road Fire to dump fire retardant on blaze

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by khou.com staff

khou.com

Posted on September 9, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 9 at 2:11 PM

HOUSTON -- A DC-10 jumbo jet originally meant to dump retardant on Central Texas wildfires has a new assignment north of Houston.

Officials had planned to deploy the plane Friday to Bastrop County, about 25 miles east of Austin, where nearly 1,400 homes have been destroyed.

But Texas Fire Service spokeswoman Holly Huffman says the plane will instead by dispatched to fight blazes in Grimes, Montgomery and Waller counties. The agency says those wildfires, which have blackened more than 15,000 acres, were 60 percent contained Friday.

Huffman told The Associated Press that firefighting crews have made significant strides in Bastrop County and the jet “can be diverted at any point if a new fire pops up.” Those fires have burned more than 34,000 acres.

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