Texas Wildfire Grows Overnight To Largest In State’s History

(Photo by Texas A&M Forest Service via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The Smokehouse Creek fire in Texas grew overnight Wednesday into Thursday to become the largest in the state’s history, and the second-largest in America ever.

Lampposts have been melted, power lines have been split in half, and infrastructure across more than 1.1 million acres has been burned since Monday in the “largest and most destructive” wildfire in Texan history, CBS News reported. The fire was barely 3% contained at the time of writing. It is one of at least five major wildfires happening in Texas right now, including the 687 Reamer Fire which combined with the Smokehouse Creek Fire, according to the Forest Service, the outlet reported.

At least one person was believed to have died as a result of the Smokehouse Creek Fire in Hutchinson County, officials told CBS. The victim’s grandson reportedly said her name was Joyce Blankenship, 83.

A major U.S. nuclear weapons facility was forced to shutdown Tuesday night as personnel were evacuated over risks of the wildfires, while Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared an emergency across 60 counties in the Panhandle. Normal operations were resumed the following day after no issues were reported.

Images and videos shared on social media show the utter chaos and calamity of the burns, along with the flow of smoke across the country.

Over 30,000 acres are also aflame in Oklahoma, CBS reported. Some 13 homes have already been destroyed in the state, Oklahoma Forestry Services reportedly stated. Fluctuating weather is contributing to the situation, according to the outlet (RELATED: Scientists Reveal New Explanation For Why Latin America Is On Fire)

Temperatures are anticipated to be cooler in Texas on Thursday before warm, dry conditions return, bringing temperatures some 10 to 20 degree above normal for March, the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast. It is hoped that rainy conditions will return as early as Sunday, the NWS added.