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Firefighter struck and killed by vehicle while fighting wildfire

A volunteer firefighter died Friday after a fatal accident in which he was struck by a vehicle. While authorities had initially stated that the firefighter had been overcome by smoke and perished near the roadside, the Texas Department of Public Safety has now amended that report and determined that the tragic death was the result of a collision.

According to a report from MSNBC the firefighter had been battling the wildfire when the fire truck that he was working from became trapped in a pasture that was consumed by the wildfire. He was struck during his attempt to flee.

In an attempt to respond to the large scale wildfires in Texas, the state has now asked for federal assistance to battle the blazes. The Governor has indicated that Texas is nearly tapped out in its ability to adequately respond to the fires. The fires have already burned hundreds of thousands of acres, destroyed dozens of homes and required the evacuation of hundreds of residents.

Authorities now believe that one fire in Austin that has burned over 100 acres was caused by one man's campfire. That he was using for cooking despite the obvious risk of spreading wildfires due to the dry and windy conditions.

While it is difficult to attribute the death of the firefighter to any single cause in such a widespread disaster, the underlying situation does not provide individuals a license to act in a reckless or negligent manner when they are driving on Texas roadways, or camping in a fire prone region.

Source: MSNBC "Homeless man charged with starting Austin fire" April, 18, 2011

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