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The Texas Panhandles fires are consuming a historical number of acres, making it the largest in the state's history. Two deaths have been reported, along with 10,000 head of cattle.

Ron Smith, Editor

March 2, 2024

1 Min Read
Texas Panhandle wildfires
Smokehouse Creek Fire, Hutchinson County, Texas, is an estimated 1,078,086 acres and 15% containedTexas A&M Forest Service

The ongoing fires in North Texas now rank as the largest wildfire in Texas history with more than 1 million acres burned, surpassing the 2017 fire in the same region that burned more than 744,000 acres.

More than 30,000 acres have burned in Oklahoma.

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What we know as of Friday, March 1,:

  • Two deaths have been reported

  • Livestock losses are estimated to be as many as 10,000 head of cattle, as assessments are ongoing, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture.

  • Early estimates put property losses at $23 million

STAR Fund (texasagriculture.gov);

2024 Texas Panhandle Wildfire Relief Resources - Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service (tamu.edu);

Emergency Relief Program (usda.gov);

2024 February Wildfires (texas.gov)

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Residents are urged to operate outdoors with caution as this weekend's fire environment will trend warmer, drier and windier, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service- Incident Information.

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Read more about:

Wildfires

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith

Editor, Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 30 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Denton, Texas. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and two grandsons, Aaron and Hunter.

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