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Possum Kingdom Lake Fires Closer To Being Extinguished & Midday Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Rainy conditions have helped crews battling wildfires in North Texas do more to control the stubborn blazes. The Texas Forest Service on Monday reported the Possum Kingdom Lake wildfires, which scorched nearly 127,000 acres, are nearly 70 percent contained.

At least 167 homes and two homes were destroyed by this month's wildfires in the recreational area located 70 miles west of Fort Worth.

Dry, windy conditions were expected to create ideal conditions for wildfires on Tuesday in the western parts of the state. The Texas Forest Service raised concerns about areas west of a line from Fort Worth to Eagle Pass.

More than 840 wildfires have consumed almost 1.5 million acres across Texas this year. The agency says 209 of the state's 254 counties have burn bans.

Hail damages dozens of vehicles in Abilene

Tornadoes have been confirmed near several West Texas towns but nobody was hurt in the storms that also pounded Abilene with hail the size of softballs.

National Weather Service forecaster Joel Dunn said Monday that 60 to 80 vehicles outside the Mall of Abilene had their windshields broken Sunday afternoon by the large hail.

A mall spokesman didn't immediately return a call Monday from The Associated Press.

Oncor reported nearly 8,000 storm-related electric outages Monday, mainly in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Mourners remember fireman killed in Texas blaze

Firefighters from across the state have gathered to pay respects to a fireman who was fatally burned while battling one of dozens of wildfires that have scorched more than a million acres in Texas this month.

Friends and relatives also filled a church in the Texas Panhandle town of Dumas on Monday and remembered 49-year-old Elias Jaquez as a good friend and good firefighter who will be missed.

Jaquez was a Mexican-born meat-packing plant worker and volunteer firefighter in nearby Cactus. He died last week at a Lubbock hospital 11 days after he was critically injured battling a wildfire near Dumas, about 40 miles north of Amarillo.

After the Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Jaquez was to be buried at Northlawn Memorial Gardens.

Probe into hole in SWA plane turns to assembly process

Investigators trying to determine why the roof of a Southwest Airlines jet peeled open in flight are focusing on the manufacturing process at Boeing.

Authorities say the Boeing 737 and five others used by Dallas-based Southwest that had cracks in their metal skins were built at about the same time in the same plant.

A 5-foot hole tore open in the roof of Southwest Flight 812 as it climbed above Arizona on April 1. The pilot made a safe emergency landing. There were no serious injuries.

Boeing later told airlines that owned about 190 other 737s built in the 1990s to do electromagnetic inspections of roof joints. Boeing today said inspections have been completed on about three-fourths of those planes. Only the five Southwest jets had cracks.

Dallas area: woman's body found near Trinity River

A body wrapped in a tarp and found in south Dallas County has been identified as a missing Irving woman.

Dallas police on Monday identified the victim as 34-year-old Maritza Panameno.

Police say the case is being investigated as a murder. No one was immediately arrested.

Relatives of the woman, who was reported missing Friday night, helped in the search after receiving a tip about where to look. The body was recovered Sunday night at the Trinity River bottoms.