Texas Wildfires Spread Across 850,000 Acres, Kills 1

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

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The Texas wildfires sweeping through the Panhandle have claimed at least one life, posing threats to towns, leading to evacuations, and causing power outages for thousands of residences and businesses. The fire at Smokehouse Creek, located north of Amarillo, has devastated 850,000 acres and is currently only 3% contained, rapidly becoming the second-largest wildfire in the history of Texas.

Texas Wildfires Spread Across 850,000 Acres, Kills 1

The Texas wildfires are being intensified by strong winds, unusually high temperatures, and dry grass. However, there is a possibility of rain arriving tomorrow. Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster for 60 counties, urging Texans to exercise caution, minimize activities that might cause sparks, and take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their loved ones.

At present, numerous firefighters and first responders have been mobilized to combat the Smokehouse Creek Fire, as confirmed by Seth Christensen, the spokesperson for the Texas Division of Emergency Management. This wildfire, named the Smokehouse Creek Fire, has destroyed half a million acres so far, making it the second-largest wildfire in Texas history after the 2006 East Amarillo Complex fire, which consumed over 900,000 acres.

The Smokehouse Creek Fire has prompted evacuations in several towns, a neighborhood in Amarillo, and additional communities, as reported by the Forest Service and local law enforcement. The National Weather Service has cautioned residents near Amarillo to stay indoors with their pets due to poor air quality.

Texas authorities have issued warnings to farmers regarding potential impacts on agriculture and livestock. In the affected region, over 4,500 homes and businesses are currently without power. Concerns about the fire spreading north of the Pantex nuclear weapons site in Amarillo led to the temporary closure and evacuation of staff on Tuesday night. The facility is a crucial site for the assembly, dismantling, and maintenance of US nuclear weapons. However, the nuclear site has resumed normal functioning since the evacuation of the non-significant staff.

Also Read: US EPA Grants A Billion USD To Superfund Cleanups Of Unsafe Waste

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