“State’s Largest Fire May Intensify Over Weekend, Officials Warn”



The largest wildfire in Texas history, called the Smokehouse Creek Fire, has caused significant devastation, killing two people, thousands of cattle, and destroying homes and ranches across 1.1 million acres. Predicted high winds over the weekend could fuel the fire further, which is currently only 15% contained. Governor Greg Abbott urged residents to stay vigilant and warned of further potential fire dangers heading into the weekend.

Texas’ Largest Ever Fire could Worsen, Warn Officials

Texas wildfire

With high winds expected this weekend, Texas officials warn that the state’s biggest ever fire, the Smokehouse Creek Fire, could escalate. The fire has resulted in two fatalities and thousands of livestock losses, leaving cattle ranches and homes destroyed and a charred landscape behind.

As of the last update, the fire, which covers over 1.1 million acres, is only 15% contained. Governor Greg Abbott has urged the public to remain alert and not let down their guard. “We face enormous potential fire dangers as we head into this weekend,” he cautioned during a press conference.

Fire weather watches have been issued in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle through to Sunday, with firefighters racing to abate the wildfire. The brunt of the Texas fires, including the vast Smokehouse Creek Fire, are in the Texas Panhandle, the state’s northern region, home to extensive cattle ranches.

The region is sparsely populated but houses millions of cows, calves, steers, and bulls. Abbott indicated that initial damage assessments show 400 to 500 structures destroyed by the blaze. Thousands of animals are believed to have perished, the Texas agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, said on Thursday.

Notwithstanding the devastation to individual producers due to the destruction of feedlands and farm buildings, the overall impact on prices at grocery stores will be negligible, predicts David Anderson, an economist at Texas A&M.

The Red Cross operates two disaster centers for wildfire victims. In Hutchinson County, one of the worst-hit areas, two women died as a result of the fire. Over in Oklahoma, over 30,000 acres have burned, and at least 13 homes have been destroyed.

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