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Wildfires In Texas

Updated: Mar 5

Fires can be a scary proposition for families, schools, and businesses across the country and in some cases can be very unpredictable when they may happen. Freak accidents can happen that can start fires and lead to the loss of loved ones or leave ruin in their wake. However, wildfires can be predictable but nonetheless dangerous and in the small town of Fritch, Texas, evacuees are unprepared for the destruction that will be present when they return home. It is crucial to understand the growing risk of wildfires and the conditions that cause them as well as being alert to potential evacuation routes and warning signs in order to stay safe in the cause of disaster.

Global warming is no joke. Human-caused climate change has ignited the increased chances for fires and their severity in the last few years because of the hot and dry conditions that plague many places across the country. As the planet warms, a prolonged fire season is the result potentially even during the winter months which no one wants even Texas who is not equipped for the winter snow either. A recent study by a research professor at the Desert Research Institute has found that the wildfire season will go up by a large margin.

" The wildfire season will be extended by an average of 10 days or more across all of the U.S. in the years to come because of the warmer temperatures." --Guo Yu

For Texas specifically, they may see an even more dramatic increase of up to 40 days for extreme wildfires that are burning longer and hotter than ever before. Now this may mean nothing unless you know why fires actually occur. The warmer temperatures play a part but there are many other environmental factors that contribute to how fires start and last for as long as they do. Drought, unstable air, a strong surface, and low relative humidity are all variables that contribute to wildfires. Hotspots for fires generally appear in areas with a dry air mass and high surface winds, making Texas the perfect setting for a wildfire to cause wreckage and devastation.

Across the Texas Panhandle, a square shaped area which is the 26 northernmost counties in the state bordered by New Mexico to the west and Oklahoma to the east and north, the fires continue to spread and set a number of unheralded records in their wake. It is hard to describe in such a short article the extent of the damage that has destroyed many people’s livelihood in the space of the last few days. Two people have already died, cattle and livestock are dying at will and the Smokehouse Creek Fire is still only 3 percent contained as of this morning. In the space of the last 24 hours it has become the largest wildfire in Texas history torching more than a million acres and two thousand square miles. A young man from Stinnett, Texas, reiterates what many Americans are thinking about the raging fires that are only getting worse.

"It was brutal. The streetlights were out. There was nothing but embers and flames." --Dylan Stewart

One of the saving graces in all of the madness is that a slight dusting of snow has come through the Panhandle area helping slow the fire and allowing firefighters to move as quickly as possible to get to the parts of the fire that have not been dealt with yet. Even the President Joe Biden has weighed in directing officials to continue sending firefighters and equipment and guaranteed Texas and Oklahoma that they will be reimbursed for the costs of the emergency. With the fire struggling to be contained, evacuations orders remain in place and when people return home the resemblance will be completely different from when they left. More than 11 million people remain under warning for dangerous fire conditions across the south-central U.S. If you have ever lost a loved one or been subject to losing anything valuable then you can sympathize with the people in Texas struggling to find hope in a dire situation. One of the most important things that you can do is contribute to emergency efforts and the costs that will be needed to rebuild is by clicking on this link to save lives and contribute to the cause.

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