Smokehouse Creek Wildfire Grows to 1.1 Million Acres, Claims One Life


AMARILLO, TX – The Smokehouse Creek wildfire raging across the Texas Panhandle has now expanded to a staggering 1.1 million acres, claiming at least one life, authorities confirmed today. The fire, which is only 3 percent contained, continues to pose a significant threat to communities in its path.

One person was killed when flames swept through the Scotts Acres neighborhood in Stinnett, Hutchinson County Public Emergency Management Coordinator Deidra Thomas said Wednesday. The Smokehouse Creek Fire that broke out on Monday has since extended to 1.1 million acres, firefighters said Thursday, quickly becoming the "largest and most destructive" in state history. 

Governor Greg Abbott, in response to the escalating crisis, has directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to deploy additional state emergency response resources to bolster wildfire response operations. The Governor has also elevated the readiness level of the Texas State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) to Level II (Escalated Response) to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated effort to combat the inferno.

"As dangerous wildfires continue to impact the Texas Panhandle, I directed TDEM to immediately deploy additional wildfire response resources to ensure the safety of Texans and impacted communities," Governor Abbott stated. "Thank you to our federal partners at FEMA for quickly approving Texas' request for grant assistance as we continue to fight these dangerous wildfires."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) request for the Smokehouse Creek Fire and Windy Deuce Fire, making Texas eligible for 75% reimbursement from the federal government for firefighting costs related to these blazes.

The Texas A&M Forest Service has issued warnings of a high volume of dry, freeze-cured grasses, which continue to fuel the fire's spread. Additionally, weather forecasts indicate warmer and drier conditions in the coming days, heightening the risk of further wildfire activity across the region. The Wildland Fire Preparedness Level has been raised to Level 3 due to the anticipated increase in fire activity.

In response to the Governor's directives, TDEM has activated a range of state emergency response resources, including air tankers, incident management teams, strike teams, urban search and rescue teams, public works response teams, veterinary emergency services, and more. These resources are crucial in the ongoing efforts to contain the blaze and mitigate its impact on affected communities.

Governor Abbott urged Texans in affected areas to heed the guidance of local officials and first responders and to take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety. He also encouraged individuals to report property damage caused by the wildfire using the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) available online in both English and Spanish.

Texans are advised to follow instructions from authorities, avoid activities that could spark flames, and maintain readily accessible emergency supplies. For more information and updates on wildfire safety tips and reporting damages, residents can visit,, and

As the wildfire continues to ravage the Texas Panhandle, state and federal agencies are working tirelessly to contain the blaze and protect the lives and property of those in its path.

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