Satellite images show devastation of Texas wildfires


The Smokehouse Creek Fire became the largest in state history Thursday.

The largest before had been the East Amarillo Fire of 2006, which was around 907,000 acres, according to statistics from the Texas A&M Forest Service, which is a state agency.

Among the other fires currently burning is the Windy Deuce Fire in Moore County, which is around 144,000 acres, officials said. It was 55% contained Monday.

The Grape Vine Creek Fire in Gray County was 34,882 acres and 60% contained.

Temperatures in the region were forecast to increase this week, but then a cold front is likely to bring a chance of precipitation starting Friday, the National Weather Service in Amarillo said.

The moisture in the grass has increased, the Texas A&M Forest Service said in an update Monday, meaning it will be easier to fight the fires.

“Overall, burn conditions are markedly improved from yesterday’s weather and the ability to fight fire on the ground is greatly enhanced,” the agency said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration because of the fires, and a request for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been approved.

President Joe Biden said late last week that FEMA will guarantee that Texas, as well Oklahoma, will be reimbursed for firefighting efforts.

Federal help has included 500 federal personnel in Texas, including over 100 federal firefighters, “and more are on the way,” Biden said Friday in Brownsville. Aircraft and other equipment have also been sent.

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