Monday, April 15, 2024

Firefighters are facing a tough fight against a big wildfire in Texas. They have to deal with strong winds and high temperatures. At the same time, people are struggling with the loss of their homes

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The biggest fire in Texas history is getting worse because of strong winds and high temperatures. It’s been burning for almost a week, destroying over a million acres and threatening homes, animals, and people’s lives. The fire is only 15% contained, and the weather conditions make it likely to spread fast.

There are five fires burning in the Texas Panhandle, and one called Smokehouse Creek has killed two people, destroyed 500 buildings, and left many without electricity. The fire can move really fast, burning up to 1500 acres in an hour. We don’t know what caused it yet.

The weather conditions, like high winds and dryness, are making it hard for firefighters. Texas A&M Forest Service says the fire might grow more this weekend. The area had more rain than usual this winter, so there’s a lot of grass to burn.

Other fires in Moore County, Gray County, Oldham County, and Hutchinson County have burned thousands of acres and are still spreading. Two people have died because of the fires. Many cattle have also died, impacting the state’s cattle industry, which is mainly in the Panhandle.

If you want to help, GoFundMe has verified fundraisers for people affected by the wildfires. You can donate money for those who lost homes, belongings, and animals. Some places in Texas are accepting supplies and donations for relief efforts.

A family looks through the remains of their burnt-down home. Susan and Ronnie Johnson lost their house in a fire in Fritch, Texas. All that’s left are ashes and a few items like a dining table, dishes, ovens, chairs, and a smoker. The destruction includes dust, rubble, and fallen trees.

In another incident, the Rabbit Fire burned over 7,500 acres in Moreno Valley, California. Firefighters controlled the burn on July 15, 2023. The extreme heat threatened millions of Americans, breaking temperature records. The National Weather Service warned of a dangerously hot weekend with temperatures reaching up to 116 Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius).

The Johnson family returned the night after the fire to find remnants of their home. On Tuesday, surrounded by fire, they tried to save it but lost everything.

Ronnie said, “You never think it’ll be your house that burns. We’ve seen others, so we’ll rebuild and start again.” Susan felt the loss was “numbing,” but memories of their home with nine family members remain.

Many in the area are dealing with similar losses. Texas Governor Greg Abbott described widespread devastation, saying that the damage is complete, leaving only ashes on the ground.

Farmers are facing big losses due to a massive fire, and State Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is asking for help. He needs hay and feed donations and wants people to pray for those who lost their homes and animals. The situation is really bad – there’s no grass or water for the animals. More than 3,000 animals have already died, and that number could double or triple. Some animals are so hurt that they have to be put down.

Seven stores that sell seeds and grains have lost everything, and the damage is severe. In Hemphill County, over a thousand cattle are missing or dead, along with horses, goats, and sheep. The numbers could go up as they assess the damage after the fire. It’s a tough time for farmers, and they need support.

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