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Texas firefighters contain fire in panhandle that burned over 1 million acres

Firefighters have managed to contain the Smokehouse Creek fire in Hutchinson County after almost three weeks, ending the series of fires in the Texas Panhandle.


The wildfire became the largest in Texas history. The series of fires killed at least two people and it burned more than 1 million acres through several counties.

Many residents in the Panhandle lost their homes and farms, and thousands of livestock were killed.

Relief efforts for the region are still ongoing. The U.S. Small Business Administration has set up disaster loan outreach centers in the cities of Canadian and Borger for people that have been affected by any of the wildfires hitting the Panhandle.


The State Agriculture Relief Fund, which is administered by Texas’s official state office, also received more than $800,000 in donations for farmers and ranchers that have been negatively affected by the fires. Areas to donate livestock supply and other farming related goods have been established across the Panhandle.


The announcement on Saturday that the Smokehouse Creek fire is completely contained means that the entire perimeter of the fire has been contained and kept from spreading any further.


“All state resources have been released and the fire has transitioned back to the local unit,” the Texas A&M Forest Service said Saturday on social media.


The forest service also announced that the Windy Deuce fire, which burned for over 144,000 acres, has also been completely contained.


The Smokehouse Creek fire started on February 26, one mile north of the town of Stinnett, which is about 60 miles northeast of Amarillo. It quickly spread east toward Roberts and Hemphill counties, where it dealt most of the damage.

The Windy Deuce fire started nearby in Moore County at 6:20 p.m., four hours after the Smokehouse Creek fire started. State lawmakers are investigating the cause of the wildfires. Texas A&M Forest Service said its investigators determined that power lines caused the fire, but didn’t go into detail regarding the specifics. Utility company Xcel Energy said that it likely appeared that its equipment was involved in igniting that fire, but denied the company was negligent in maintaining power lines.


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