Texas Wildfire Reaches Second-Largest Size In State’s Recorded History

Texas A&M Forest Service / X

On Wednesday (Feb. 28), multiple major wildfires, including the second-largest recorded in Texas history, swept through the state’s panhandle, causing evacuations, property damage, and a temporary closure of the nation’s primary nuclear weapons facility.

The fires started on Monday and quickly spread due to strong winds, dry weather, and high temperatures.

By Wednesday, the “Smokehouse Creek Fire” had grown to cover 850,000 acres, spanning across multiple counties and even extending into Oklahoma.

This devastating fire ranks among Texas’ biggest wildfires, second only to the 2006 Amarillo East Complex fires, confirmed by the Texas A&M Forest Service.

Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency for 60 counties as firefighting crews strive to contain the blaze.

Anticipation lingers for a change in weather conditions, expected to arrive on Thursday (Feb. 29), offering hope for relief to firefighters. The expected cooler temperatures, rainfall, and reduced wind could provide much-needed support in controlling the fire’s advance.

In addition to the Smoke House Creek Fire, Texas is currently confronting other significant blazes. This includes the Windy Deuce Fire in Moore County, spanning 90,000 acres with a containment progress of 25%. Meanwhile, a fire in Gray County has affected 30,000 acres, with containment efforts currently at 60%.

Officials have yet to pinpoint a specific cause for the series of wildfires at this time.

Firefighting teams statewide are collaborating to extinguish the blazes, with 15 firefighters sent from the Fort Worth Fire Department.

The department’s recent Facebook post indicates that the Fort Worth crew may stay stationed in the panhandle for up to two weeks, highlighting the extended commitment necessary to effectively combat the fires.

“These specialized and highly trained crews are joining hundreds of other firefighters working around the clock to contain these incredibly dangerous fires,” the post said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents affected by wildfire and for the safety of the crews.”

For those who wish to extend a helping hand to the victims affected by the wildfires in the area, several donation sites have been established. Every contribution, no matter how small, can make a significant difference in supporting those in need during this difficult time.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit here to see how you can help.