Red Flag Warnings Continue In Texas

Wildfires in Texas have reached catastrophic levels, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to declare a disaster across 60 counties. The growing inferno has wreaked havoc across the Texas Panhandle, forcing evacuation orders and posing a serious threat to local communities.

The largest of the blazes, the Smokehouse Creek Fire, has already burned through an estimated 850,000 acres and is only 3% contained as of Wednesday afternoon. This has made it the second-largest wildfire in Texas history and has prompted Pantex, a nuclear weapons plant in Amarillo, to pause operations and evacuate non-essential personnel as a precaution.

The widespread wildfire activity across the state has caused major concern for local authorities, who have been struggling to contain the flames amid strong winds, dry grass, and unseasonably warm temperatures. The extreme weather conditions have led to “extreme fire behavior,” with gusts up to 60 mph and flames reaching as high as 20 feet.

The situation has become so severe that even the federal government has taken notice, with President Joe Biden receiving updates and White House officials in close contact with state, local, and federal authorities. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Forest Service, and National Interagency Fire Center are all assisting as efforts to contain the fires continue.

In response to the growing threat, Abbott has warned Texans to limit activities that could create sparks and take precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. As the winds continue to rage and temperatures remain unseasonably high, there is a strong possibility that the wildfires could continue to spread, causing even more damage and devastation.

The devastating effects of these wildfires have been felt across the state, with over 40 homes damaged in the city of Fritch, and mandatory evacuations issued for several towns and communities in the Amarillo region. Local schools have also been closed in response to the emergency, and the situation remains volatile as the fires remain uncontained.

Pantex has assured the public that all special materials are safe and unaffected, but the fire has already forced the evacuation of a hospital and nursing home in Shattuck, Oklahoma, as it has crossed the state line.

Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by these devastating wildfires, and we can only hope that efforts to contain them will be successful.

ABC News | Daily Mail