Biggest Air Assault Yet Set For Texas Blaze

BASTROP, Texas (AP) - Firefighters are planning their biggest aerial assault yet on a massive Texas wildfire that has destroyed nearly 1,400 homes and charred tens of thousands of acres.

On Friday morning they plan to deploy a converted DC-10 jetliner capable of dropping 12,000 gallons of fire retardant on the blaze and smoldering hotspots across some 45 square miles. Crews have been making steady progress against the blaze, closing in around its biggest flames.

But concern lingers about wind sparking flare-ups or fanning flames outside the area. The DC-10 is one of the nation's largest firefighting jets. Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Holly Huffman says such tankers slow and cool the fire.

It's just one more strategy the state is employing to finally get control of the blaze that has been raging for days.