Fire Grows to 50,000 Acres

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San Manuel, Texas (AP) A wildfire in the Rio Grande valley in Texas has spread to 50,000 acres and forced hundreds of people from their homes.

Officials think a fallen power line sparked the massive blaze yesterday afternoon.

At least four homes have been destroyed, and bulldozers have uprooted grass near the hidalgo county jail and an elementary school in hopes of stopping the encroaching flames.

Deputies have gone door-to-door to alert residents to the threat.

The Monitor newspaper in McAllen says at least 500 people have fled their homes. It says firefighters estimate the blaze as 18 miles wide with flames leaping 40 feet into the air.