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Apr-18-2013 13:01printcomments

Wind Challenges West, Texas, Fire Containment Effort

Colder air is also forecast to settle over the region with temperatures dipping into the 30s Thursday night.

Fire in West, Texas
Courtesy: Accuweather.com

(WACO Accuweather.com) - Update as of 7:30 a.m. CDT: Heavy rain was sweeping through the area, and winds have shifted to the northwest averaging 15 to 25 mph with gusts between 30 and 45 mph.

Update as of 6:50 a.m. CDT:
Thunderstorms moving through the area may bring beneficial moisture to the blaze; however, winds behind the front will continue to be problematic for firefighters.

The fertilizer plant is located in the town of West, Texas, near Waco. The explosion of the plant left the ground shaking late Wednesday night.

With the winds gusting in the wake of a cold front that has been bringing severe weather across the center of the country, firefighters may face some challenges.

The winds will make the fire following the explosion more difficult to contain.

Winds from the north and northwest averaging 15 to 30 mph with higher gusts are forecast by AccuWeather.com meteorologist to continue into the afternoon, before diminishing Thursday night.

However, the wind direction will remain from the north and northwest through Friday but could swing to the south and southeast by Saturday.

Colder air is also forecast to settle over the region with temperatures dipping into the 30s Thursday night.

According to the Associated Press, at least five fatalities have been confirmed and more are anticipated along with many injuries.

It was also reported that more than 50 homes and businesses were damaged, several of which were leveled.

Additional lives and property could be threatened as high winds continue into Thursday.

By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

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