Texas wildfire nearly 900,000 acres of land

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A Texas panhandle fire has consumed nearly 900,000 acres, prompting widespread evacuations, road closures and emergency declarations. 

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, the blaze is the second largest in Texas’ history, since the state began recording the data in 2005.

The largest fire burning is the Smokehouse Creek Fire north of Stinnett, with only 3% containment.

The Smokehouse Creek fire is one of five large wildfires currently burning in the Texas Panhandle.

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Smoke and fire

Smoke and fire rise from wildfires in a location given as Texas, U.S., in this handout picture released on February 27, 2024. (Greenville Fire-Rescue/Handout via REUTERS )

Car drive in smoke

Cars drive as smoke and fire rise from wildfires in a location given as Texas, U.S., in this handout picture released on February 27, 2024. (Greenville Fire-Rescue/Handout via REUTERS )

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, dry conditions and above-normal temperatures caused an increased risk of wildfire.

Authorities said that gusty winds between 40 and 50 mph pushed the fire north of Pampa, Texas. 

On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 60 Texas counties because of the rapidly spreading wildfires in the Lone Star State.

“I issued a disaster declaration today to ensure critical fire response resources are swiftly deployed to areas in the Texas Panhandle being impacted by devastating wildfires,” said Governor Abbott. “The State of Texas stands ready to provide support to our local partners and deploy all resources needed to protect our fellow Texans and their property.

Wildfires

Aerial view of wildfires in Texas U.S., February 27, 2024 in this picture obtained from social media. (Patrick Ryan/via REUTERS)

Wildland team members

Wildland Team members depart to operate amid the spread of fire in Panhandle, Texas, U.S., in this picture obtained by Reuters on February 27, 2024.  (Flower Mound Texas Fire Department/via REUTERS)

People who once lived in the area described their harrowing escape.

WILDFIRES RAGE ACROSS TEXAS PANHANDLE

“We went through, I bet, 30 miles of what I can only describe as a lunar landscape, just absolute barren desert,” Greg Downey told FOX 4.

Lumber burning

Lumber that was burned by the Smokehouse Creek wildfire burns in a storage yard in Canadian, Texas, U.S. February 28, 2024.  (REUTERS/Nick Oxford)

Wildfire

The Smokehouse Creek wildfire burns across some grassland outside of Canadian, Texas, U.S. February 28, 2024. (REUTERS/Nick Oxford)

Largest Fire in Texas History

The largest fire in Texas history was the East Amarillo Complex fire of 2006, which burned 907,245 acres, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

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  1. East Amarillo Complex (2006) – 907,245 acres
  2. Smokehouse Creek (2024) – 850,000 acres
  3. Big Country (1998), 366,000 acres
  4. Perryton (2017), 318,156 acres
  5. Rockhouse Fire (2011) 314,444



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