Wildfire in Texas: Conditions are ripe with winds over 40mph and unseasonably warm


Important Takeaways:

  • Out-of-control wildfires scorch Texas Panhandle and briefly shut down nuclear weapons facility
  • A series of wildfires swept across the Texas Panhandle early Wednesday, prompting evacuations, cutting off power to thousands, and forcing the brief shutdown of a nuclear weapons facility as strong winds, dry grass and unseasonably warm temperatures fed the blazes.
  • Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 60 counties as the main blaze, the Smokehouse Creek Fire, swelled into the second-largest wildfire in the state’s history. The main facility that disassembles America’s nuclear arsenal paused operations Tuesday night but said it was open for normal work on Wednesday.
  • Authorities have not said what might have caused the blaze, which tore through sparsely populated counties set amid vast, high plains punctuated by cattle ranches and oil rigs.
  • The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings and fire danger alerts for several other states through the midsection of the country, as high winds of over 40 mph (64 kph) combined with warm temperatures, low humidity and dry winter vegetation to make conditions ripe for wildfires.

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