Border Crisis

Texas Panhandle Wildfire Claims 2nd Life, Largest Fire in State’s History, 2nd Largest in U.S.

The Smokehouse Creek Wildfire in the Texas Panhandle claimed the life of a second victim on Thursday. What is now the second-largest fire in U.S. history has consumed approximately 1.1 million acres — an area larger than the state of Rhode Island — and is less than five percent contained at last report.

Amarillo resident Cindy Owen became surrounded by smoke and fire while driving along a highway in the panhandle region, according to a report by KVII ABC7. Cindy’s sister-in-law, Jennifer Mitchell, reported that the Cindy said she was having trouble breathing from the smoke and had to get out of her car.

A passing motorist found the Amarillo woman and an ambulance took her to an Oklahoma City burn center. She succumbed to her injuries two days later.

The Smokehouse Creek Wildfire is one of four burning in the panhandle region, MyHighPlains.com reported. The now second-largest fire in U.S. history consumed more than 1,075,000 acres as the 687 Reamer fire merged into its path.

Despite cooler temperatures, lower winds, and up to two inches of snow, Texas A&M Forest Service reports, as of midnight Thursday night, the fire is less than five percent contained.

On Friday, Forest Service officials say that favorable fire weather conditions will return to the Texas Panhandle region. Warmer temperatures and sustained winds of 20-30 miles per hour with gusts reaching 60-70 miles per hour could force burned hot spots to reignite. Additional fires could also break out in these conditions, the report states.

Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Wes Moorehead told MSN that Texans should refrain from activities that could ignite new fires. He pledged that the tireless efforts of firefighters would continue unabated.

Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday morning talk show. He also serves as president of Blue Wonder Gun Care Products 

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