Crews battle wind-whipped wildfire in Texas Panhandle

(CNN) -- Firefighting crews made some headway Monday against a wind-whipped wildfire in the Texas Panhandle.

The Double Diamond Fire in Hutchinson County is now 65% contained, up from 35% earlier in the day, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The blaze has burned more than 2,500 acres and destroyed 131 structures.

It prompted at least 2,100 people to flee their homes, said Troy Ducheneaux of the forest service. Paula Lea was one of those people.

"It almost looked like a tornado -- I mean, just a tornado of smoke. And it was so thick and heavy, you just couldn't breathe," said Lea, who spoke to CNN at a temporary shelter.

She said her home survived, but her father-in-law's house did not.

Earlier, Danny Richards, coordinator for Hutchinson County Emergency Management, said a cold front was raising humidity and helping firefighting efforts.

The wildfire started late Sunday afternoon and was driven by strong, shifting winds. The cause has not been determined.


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