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Texas wildfire update: Map shows ongoing devastation as blazes engulf over a million acres

The Texas wildfires continue to sweep across the state's panhandle and have now burned over a million acres.

The Smokehouse Creek Fire, now the largest in the state's history, was last reported to be burning across 1,076,638 acres, according to Texas A&M Forest Service's post on X, formerly known as Twitter. Although it shrunk from its initial size, the fire is still only 15% contained.

The agency states that the fire's acreage will continue to change as mapping becomes more accurate. "Firefighters continue suppression actions on the fire," states the post.

The warm, dry weather in the area has proved to be an obstacle as firefighters battle the blazes. But conditions are expected to improve today as a cold front is expected to move across the state's rural Panhandle early Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Click here for latest info for 3/6/2024: Fire chief dies, map shows scope of devastation, learn how you can help those impacted

Where are the Texas wildfires?

According to the latest data provided by the Texas A&M Forest Service, there are six active fires in the state:

  • Smokehouse Creek — Hutchinson County, 1,076,638 acres, 15% contained

  • Windy Deuce — Moore County, 144,206 acres, 55% contained

  • Grape Vine Creek — Gray County, 34,882 acres, 60% contained

  • Magenta — Oldham County, 3,297 acres, 85% contained

  • 687 Reamer — Hutchinson County, 2,000 acres, 10% contained

  • Roughneck — Hutchinson County, 300 acres, 25% contained

Texas wildfire maps

Burn bans issued in Texas

There are 65 counties in the state, mainly in its panhandle and western border, that are under burn bans due to the wildfires and drought conditions.

In a post on X, FEMA warned that wildfire danger is high not only in Texas but also Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana.

The agency is asking people to check local burn bans and reg flag warnings in their area.

Texas wildfires have caused 2 deaths

So far, two deaths have been confirmed from the fire.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Chris Ray, Cindy Owen, who was driving in Hemphill County when she encountered the fire or smoke from it on Tuesday afternoon. She got out of her truck, and the flames overtook her.

Joyce Blankenship, 83, was identified by family members. According to her grandson, Lee Quesada, deputies told his uncle that the former substitute teacher's remains were found Wednesday in her home, which was burned.

In addition to human lives lost, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller predicts there could be around 10,000 cattle deaths due to the fire. But, this number is not confirmed.

Texas governor, Greg Abbott, said on Friday that he believes wildfires destroyed around 500 structures, reports NPR.

“The countless Texans who have been impacted by these devastating wildfires are going through challenges that require our ongoing support and assistance as we work together to help the entire Panhandle region rebuild and return to normalcy," said Abbott in a statement.

Contributing: Ahjané Forbes, Thao Nguyen

Julia is a trending reporter for USA TODAY. She has covered various topics, from local businesses and government in her hometown, Miami, to tech and pop culture. You can follow her on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram and TikTok: @juliamariegz.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas wildfires map 2024: Track locations of state's active wildfires