Massive wildfire continues scorching over 1 million acres in Texas Panhandle - Hindustan Times
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Massive wildfire continues scorching over 1 million acres in Texas Panhandle, more danger ahead

Feb 29, 2024 07:28 AM IST

Smokehouse Creek Fire, the second-largest in Texas history, poses threats to 60 counties. Gov. Abbott declares a disaster and asked to mobilize resources.

The Texas Panhandle and the Northern Plains are facing Lucifer's wrath in the form of a wildfire because of the hot and windy weather. The raging flares have destroyed almost 900,000 acres of land so far, and people have to leave their homes, roads are closed, and nuclear weapon facility have to shut down.

The charred remains of a home burned by the Smokehouse Creek Fire are seen Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Canadian, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)(AP)
The charred remains of a home burned by the Smokehouse Creek Fire are seen Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Canadian, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)(AP)

The government has declared a state of emergency.

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The worst fire is the Smokehouse Creek Fire, which is barely under control and covers 850,000 acres north of Stinnett. It is the second-largest fire in Texas history. The fire got much bigger on Wednesday, from 300,000 acres to what it is now. The heat was unbearable, almost 126 degrees Fahrenheit or 52 degrees Celsius.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the firefighters made some headway on Wednesday thanks to cooler and less windy weather.

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Snow may bring some relief

The weather might help a bit on Thursday, as some snow could fall in the area from a weak storm coming from New Mexico, according to the FOX Forecast Center. But the snow will be very light, hardly an inch.

The weather will get worse again on Friday, with temperatures going up to 70 Farenhite or 22 degrees Celsius, strong winds over 30 mph, and very dry air below 20% humidity. These conditions are expected to continue over the weekend.

Governor declares it a disaster, second largest in state history

On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a disaster for 60 Texas counties affected by the wildfires. He asked to channel more state resources to help local firefighters.

One of the towns threatened by the fire is Canadian in Hemphill County. On Tuesday afternoon, the fire destroyed an automated weather station called Mesonet station. The West Texas Mesonet, which runs the station, reported that the temperature reached 126 degrees before the station was burned.

The fire also moved north of Pampa with winds of 40 to 50 mph, according to Texas A&M Forest Service.

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A nuclear weapons facility near Amarillo had to stop its operations after the fire came too close to the property. Pantex said that all its employees were safe, and firefighters were protecting the property.

The North CIG Fire fire began as a 750-acre brush fire along CIG Road started in the morning, but it grew to more than 4,000 acres by Sunday night.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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