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Texas Panhandle wildfire now largest in state history

Remains of a business destroyed by the Smokehouse Creek Fire Associated Press/Photo by Julio Cortez

Texas Panhandle wildfire now largest in state history

Several wildfires have ravaged over 1 million acres of the state’s cattle lands and have spread into Oklahoma. The fires have consumed homes, cars, businesses, and ranchlands, leaving many homeless and prompting mass evacuations. Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 60 counties on Tuesday. The state received a federal grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with the cost of fighting the flames, according to another release from Abbott. The statement also warned of more fires developing over the weekend as warmer and drier weather moves into the area. Texas A&M Forest Service asked residents to “use extreme caution” celebrating the state’s Independence Day on Saturday, noting that “90 percent of wildfires are caused by humans.”

How many fires are there? The forest service responded to 56 wildfires since Sunday.

  • The Smokehouse Creek fire in Hutchinson County has been the largest, with authorities reporting 1,075,000 acres burned and only 3 percent containment as of Thursday.

  • The Windy Deuce fire in Moore County has burned around 142,000 acres and is 50 percent contained.

  • The Grape Vine Creek fire in Gray County has burned 30,000 acres and reached 60 percent containment.

  • The Magenta fire in Oldham County has burned 2,500 acres and reached 65 percent containment.

Dig deeper: Read my report on evangelism opportunities after devastating wildfires in Chile.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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