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Inside the fire line: Images from the Smokehouse Creek fire – the largest wildfire in Texas history

 

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WRITTEN BY
Kay Ledbetter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Inside the fire line: Images from the Smokehouse Creek fire – the largest wildfire in Texas history

Texas A&M AgriLife responds to community needs alongside volunteers and other agencies in support of the Texas Panhandle

MARCH 5, 2024

***Media Resources Links Below***

Wildfires that ripped across the Texas Panhandle left in their wake destroyed homes, blackened earth, downed power lines and wandering livestock. But also, an outpouring of support that arrived by the truckloads in the form of hay, feed and fencing materials in addition to warehouses full of supplies for families who lost their homes. Personnel from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas A&M Forest Service are on the front lines with volunteers to serve and support in the aftermath of the largest wildfire in Texas history.

The Smokehouse Creek Fire, which started in Hutchinson County, burned a total of 1,075,000 acres and has been declared as the largest in Texas history. And, it was only one of multiple fires that threatened homes and livelihoods in the past week.

A Chinook helicopter flies a bucket of water to the flames as a firefighter walks in tall grass along a fence line.
A firefighter walks a ridge line as a Chinook helicopter flies over ranchland carrying water to dump on the Smokehouse Creek Fire in the Texas Panhandle after high winds reignited the record breaking fire. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
A swing set sits among charred rubble from a mobile home that was burned to the ground in the wake of the wildfire.
A melted swing set and a pile of metal and ash are all that’s left of a trailer homestead in Fritch. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
A trailer loaded with three large round bales of hay with a Texas A&M logo - ATM spray painted on it.
A hay bale with the Texas A&M logo painted on it sits on a trailer outside of Canadian. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
a Hereford cow stands near a water tank with blackened rangeland behind it after the Smokehouse Creek fire
A Hereford cow drinks from a tank as land burned by the Smokehouse Creek Fire surrounds it. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
A firefighter walks away from a huge wall a flames from the Smokehouse Creek fire, and there is a sign in the background that reads Private Road No Trespassing
Firefighters battle flames from the reignited Smokehouse Creek fire outside of Miami. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
a horse stands in a burned out metal pen with fresh hay on the ground. The surroundings are blackened by fire
A horse eats on a fresh bale of hay in Canadian, surrounded by a pen that was damaged and a structure close by destroyed by the Smokehouse Creek fire. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
a black charred aerial view with a small circle where a trailer was destroyed by the Smokehouse Creek fire
A pile of metal and ash sitting in a charred field is all that remains of a trailer destroyed by fire in Fritch. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
A Chinook helicopter flies high above blackened ranchland and has a red basket that is dumping a spray of water on the Smokehouse Creek fire
A Chinook helicopter dumps water on the Smokehouse Creek Fire in Hemphill County after high winds caused a flare-up. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
A DAR Agent patch with a Texas flag is on the sleeve of a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Disaster Assessment and Recovery agent at a supply point.
A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Disaster Assessment and Recovery agent works outside of an animal supply point setup in Pampa, to help with disaster relief. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
two guys can be seen with feed sacks in a large barn
Volunteers sort and distribute donated goods at the animal supply point in Canadian. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
Several men in Texas A&M Forest Service shirts speak with a group of people working in the background
Texas A&M Forest Service Director Al Davis, right, and Associate Director of Forest Resource Protection and Fire Chief Wes Moorehead, left, prepare for a morning briefing. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
A group of women stand among donated supplies with two sharing a hug at the animal supply point for Smokehouse Creek fire victims
Volunteers sort and distribute donated goods at the animal supply point set up by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Hemphill County. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
A man hands a case of bottled water to another man at an animal supply point for Smokehouse Creek fire victims
A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Disaster Assessment and Recovery agent unloads donated water at an animal supply point set up in Pampa to help with disaster relief for the Smokehouse Creek fire. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
a woman in a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension cap loads feed at an animal supply point
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Megan Eikner loads bags of feed onto trucks at the animal supply point located at the Hutchinson County Airport in Borger. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)
A wall of orange flames and smoke reach into the night sky as a firefighting plane releases a load of water that appears orange from the reflection of the flames
A Texas A&M Forest Service plane drops water on a wall of flames that reaches into the sky as the Smokehouse Creek fire reignited on March 3 near Miami. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)

For information on how to support ongoing Texas Panhandle relief efforts, visit tx.ag/WildfireRelief.

More photos and visual media collected from the four days spent in the Texas Panhandle can be found below:

Video clips

Feb. 29

March 1

March 2

March 3

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