Texas fire latest: New lawsuit cites cause of massive blazes that now span thousands of acres

Snow in area affected by Texas wildfires

Fire crews were struggling to get a handle on multiple wildfires burning across Texas on Monday as one blaze jumped the state border into Oklahoma. Strong winds and dry conditions this past weekend exacerbated flames, including the Smokehouse Creek Fire in northern Texas which remains only 15 per cent contained, according to the forest service.

That fire has burned more than 1.1 million acres across the Texas Panhandle and destroyed 500 structures, Texas authorities confirmed.

The monster wildfire is the largest in state history. It’s suspected that it’s destroyed 500 structures and killed hundreds of cattle.

The National Weather Service in Amarillo has issued a red flag warning for the entire Panhandle from late Saturday morning through midnight Sunday after rain and snow on Thursday allowed firefighters to contain a portion of the fire.

The fires have killed at least two people.

One woman believes she knows she cause of the fires, according to CNN. In a lawsuit filed last week, Melanie McQuiddy blamed an electric company, Xcel Energy, and its inspection contractor, Southwestern Public Service Company, for not properly maintaining a pole that she says fell and started the blaze.


Watch: Video show scorched Texas land

Michelle Del Rey5 March 2024 07:42


Texas Fire Marshal’s Office issues guidance on wildfires

Michelle Del Rey5 March 2024 06:42


Watch: Texas ranchers begin clean up after fires

Michelle Del Rey5 March 2024 05:42


Will Texas panhandle get rain amid raging wildfires?

Rain could be possible later in the week, according to a NWS Amarillo tweet. But not a high chance.

“Not a high chance at this time, but we will watch the chance for rain later this week. Could even see a few thunderstorms, especially for the eastern Panhandles into western Oklahoma.”

Michelle Del Rey5 March 2024 04:42


Governor Greg Abbott responds to Texas fires

“As Texans in the Panhandle respond to these devastating wildfires, the State of Texas continues working around the clock to swiftly provide the necessary resources to protect Texans,” Mr Abbott, a Republican, said in a news release.

“The safety and well-being of impacted Texans is our No. 1 priority as the potential for more dangerous wildfires persists in the coming days.

“We urge Texans to continue to heed the guidance of state and local officials and utilize tools that have been made available by the Texas Division of Emergency Management and local partners. I thank our brave firefighters and first responders who are risking their lives and working around-the-clock to protect their fellow Texans during this time of crisis.”

Michelle Del Rey5 March 2024 03:42


Where to get resources if you’re impacted by the fires

The state released the following information on Monday regarding where impacted people can get government support.

Texans can locate wildfire resources from state agencies by visiting the 2024 February Wildfires page in the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Disaster Portal at, including:

  • Texas Division of Emergency Management: Reporting Wildfire Damage
  • Texas A&M Forest Service: Current Wildfire Situation
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Supporting Wildfire Survivors with Agriculture Needs
  • Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team: How to Request Veterinary Support
  • Texas Animal Health Commission: Wildfire Information for Livestock
  • Texas Department of Agriculture: Hay Hotline, AgriStress Hotline, State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund

Michelle Del Rey5 March 2024 02:42


Authorities issue update on Texas wildfires

The Texas A&M Forest Service issued an update on the ongoing fires on Sunday. The agency said it had responded to four new requests for assistance on wildfires buring 37 acres across the state. Several wildfires across the Texas Panhandle are active.

“The fire environment will trend warmer, drier, and windier across the Texas High Plains and northern Rolling Plains through Sunday ahead of a cold front passage Monday,” a news release stated. “As fuel moisture decreases, expect moderate initial attack fire potential Saturday in the High Plains and upper Rolling Plains where fire danger is forecast as very high.”

The statement noted that Sunday’s fire environment supported “high potential for initial attack fires in the High Plains with moderate potential for large fires that have high resistance to control in dry, above normal grass loading for the southeastern High Plains when subjected to well above normal temperatures and critical wind speeds.

“A large fire will be possible in the western portion of the Canadian River drainage northwest of Amarillo where above normal grass loading is present”.

Michelle Del Rey5 March 2024 01:42


How to protect yourself from wildfire smoke

– Keep yourself and pets indoors.

– Turn off outdoor intake air conditioning.

– Avoid exertion if you go outside and consider wearing an N95 mask.

Michelle Del Rey5 March 2024 00:42


Here’s where active and contained fires are located

The following are a list of current active and contained fires, according to Texas A&M Forest Service.

  • Grape Vine Creek Fire, Gray County – 34,882 acres, 60% contained
  • Smokehouse Creek Fire, Hutchinson County – est. 1,076,638 acres, 15% contained
  • Windy Deuce Fire, Moore County – 144,206 acres, 55% contained
  • Magenta Fire, Oldham County – 3,297 acres, 85% contained

Contained Wildfires (100%): 

  • Cass 0367 Fire, Cass County – 1 acre
  • Red River 0369 Fire, Red River County – 1 acre
  • Wood 0366 Fire, Wood County – 5 acres
  • Tyler 0370 Fire, Tyler County – 30 acres

Michelle Del Rey4 March 2024 23:42


Lawsuit blames Texas Smokecreek fire on energy company

A splintered power poll owned by Xcel Energy and maintained by Southwestern Public Service Company fell and started the fire, a woman from Hemphill County, where the blaze has destroyed thousands of acres, said.

Melanie McQuiddy is suing both of the companies in a lawsuit she filed last week.

“Xcel will pay for every dollar that its wildfire has caused,” her attorney Mikal Watts told Reuters.

Michelle Del Rey4 March 2024 23:22

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