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As firefighters in Western Oklahoma put out flames that destroyed crops and killed cattle over the weekend, the largest wildfire in Texas history continues to make its way toward the state.

The Smokehouse Creek fire, the largest of the wildfires blazing across multiple states, quickly became Texas’s largest wildfire in state history after beginning north of Amarillo on Thursday. For days the fires have raged, sparking mass evacuations, burning over 1.1 million acres, and killing at least two people.

The Smokehouse Creek fire has already cost over $2 million in damage and has yet to be contained, according to the Oklahoman’s wildfire tracker.

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Crews battle the Smokehouse Creek Fire north of Canadian, Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. (Associated Press)

On Monday, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt released a statement expressing support for communities in the line of fire.

“I am watching the wildfire activity in western Oklahoma closely and working with the Department of Emergency Management and Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to ensure the right resources are being deployed for those impacted,” said Gov. Stitt. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a disaster declaration on Tuesday, Feb. 27, which opens the door for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Meanwhile, Oklahoma Gov. Stitt said the emergency in his state hasn’t yet met the threshold for FEMA funding.

“As emergency crews continue to fight the fires and we survey the damage, I encourage Oklahomans to do what we do best – help out our neighbors. As you do, follow instructions from your local authorities and stay safe,” Gov. Stitt said.

Oklahoma standard springs into action as wildfires spread

Showcasing what Oklahomans refer to as the “Oklahoma standard,” residents across the state have begun pitching in to help communities in the northwest part of the state impacted by the fires.

Central Oklahoma residents, such as Rock’n M Meats in Piedmont, have donated hay bales to ranchers who’ve lost resources in the state panhandle, KOCO reported early Monday.

oklahoma wildfire
Flames rage in Western Oklahoma. (Photo courtesy of KWTV/KOTV)

The Oklahoma Forestry Service has partnered with federal and tribal agencies to dump buckets of water on the blazes, OFS Fire Chief Andy James told News 9 on Sunday. Additionally, volunteer firefighters across the state remain on standby, Osage County Fire Chief Charley Pearson told News on 6 in Tulsa.

“A cigarette butt being thrown out, a chain being drug along the highway from a vehicle, there’s a lot of different ways a fire can be started. And we’re just asking people to pay attention and be careful today,” Pearson said.

For more information on ongoing wildfires in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma Forestry Services Fire Situation Report here.

Deon Osborne was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in Lawton, OK before moving to Norman where he attended the University of Oklahoma. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Media and has...

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