Largest Wildfire in Texas History Continues to Burn

Largest Wildfire in Texas History Continues to Burn
Photo by Texas A&M Forest Service

The Smokehouse Creek Fire, the largest wildfire in Texas history, remains active, scorching a massive 1,075,000 acres across Texas and Oklahoma. As of now, it is only 3% contained, posing a significant challenge to firefighting efforts.

Since February 25th, the Texas A&M Forest Service has been combating 56 wildfires spanning over 1,256,328 acres. The situation is further exacerbated by three additional active wildfires in the Texas panhandle. These include the Grape Vine Creek Fire in Gray County, covering 30,000 acres and 60% contained; the Windy Deuce Fire in Moore County, spreading across 142,000 acres with containment at 30%; and the Magenta Fire in Oldham County, burning through 2,500 acres, with 65% containment.

Authorities warn of heightened wildfire potential over the weekend due to strong winds and dry conditions. Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief, emphasized the critical need for caution, stating, “Strong winds and warm temperatures have resulted in grasses drying across many portions of Texas.”

With Texas Independence Day celebrations approaching on March 2nd, officials urge extreme vigilance, particularly concerning the use of fireworks. Karen Stafford, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Prevention Coordinator, stressed, “Let’s celebrate Texas Independence Day with pride and responsibility… Do your part to prevent wildfires and be safe this holiday.”

To minimize the risk of fire incidents, residents are advised to attend professional fireworks displays or adhere to safety guidelines if using fireworks privately. These include checking local regulations, supervising fireworks use closely, and keeping water nearby in case of emergencies.

Furthermore, precautions are urged to prevent accidental fire starts during windy and dry conditions. Measures such as avoiding parking in dry grass, securing vehicle chains to prevent sparks, and maintaining safe grilling practices are recommended.

It’s essential to note that burn bans and fireworks restrictions are determined by county governments, not the Texas A&M Forest Service.