Business, Finance & Economics

Deadly Texas wildfires rage unabated, stoked by Tropical Storm Lee

A mother and her 18-month-old child were killed when flames engulfed their east Texas trailer amid a wildfire stoked by the Tropical Storm Lee.

Firefighters are struggling to contain the 16-mile-wide blaze southeast of Austin has razed more than 14,000 acres and has reportedly jumped the Colorado River twice. NPR reports:

"When it first started we were out there, we got overran, we had to get out. We had to evacuate and it just burned everything in its path. Forest, houses, everything, cars, anything that was there was burned," says Carolyn Laird, who is a firefighter — along with her daughter Devan — for the Bastrop Fire Department.

The worst of up to 60 smaller wildfires that make up the blaze is in Bastrop County, according to NPR, where 300 homes have been destroyed.

Black Hawk helicopters trying to douse the fire, which Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Jan Amen called "a monster," adding that it was "zero percent contained," Time reports.

High winds and drought conditions are fueling fires across Central and East Texas, forcing Texas Gov. Rick Perry to cancel his Labor Day appearance in Columbia, S.C. on Tuesday and events in California on Wednesday, ABC News reports.

"Our state has got wildfires that are running quite wild at zero containment right now and the winds are supposed to pick up again," Perry reportedly said.

By late Monday, Tropical Storm Lee — which made landfall Sunday — had turned into Tropical Depression Lee and was moving up the East Coast after drenching parts of the deep South and leaving thousands without power, ABC reports.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Katia was moving across the Atlantic Ocean.