Texas Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of Major Town

Firefighters brave high temperatures and gusty winds as they try to contain the worst wildfire in Texas history.

At fifteen percent containment, the massive Smokehouse Creek fire was one of three blazes, two of which were sixty percent controlled.

Firefighters are still trying to determine what started the blazes, but they know it was caused by dry grass, unusually high temperatures, and strong winds.

A hamlet was forced to evacuate over the weekend due to flames as aircraft dropped fire retardant across the panhandle of northern Texas.

In the rural regions and farms around Amarillo, the flames have burned over 1,900 sq miles (4,921 sq km), causing unparalleled devastation. The worst wildfire even spread into neighboring Oklahoma.

Two individuals have lost their lives—Cindy Owen,44, and Joyce Blankenship, 83—and hundreds of animals, including horses, goats, and cattle, have been either killed or put down due to smoke inhalation and severe burns.

According to state authorities, five large flames that have swept over the Panhandle have destroyed up to 500 houses and businesses. On Sunday, a new fire, the Roughneck Fir, broke out in Hutchinson County.

Authorities may have a greater opportunity to get control of the situation if Monday’s cooler temperatures and calmer winds continue into Tuesday.

The fires have been using abundant fuel, including thick grass that has developed following the above-average rainfall this winter, according to Jason Nedlo, a spokeswoman for the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings for most of the central US, including Texas and its bordering states of New Mexico and Oklahoma. These warnings indicate an elevated danger of fires caused by high temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds.

A considerable portion of South Dakota, Kansas, and Iowa, as well as almost all of Nebraska and Iowa, were under red flag warnings. Red flag warnings were also in effect for smaller Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, and Wyoming sections.