“Farmers And Ranchers Are Losing Everything”: Texas Wildfires Rage, Largest In State History

The wildfires that have ravaged parts of Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle still rage out of control, as the state is estimating that over 1 million acres have been torched so far. One particular section of the fire, the Smokehouse Creek fire, has been burning since Monday, and crews have had little success containing it.

The Smokehouse Creek blaze is estimated to have already singed over a million acres of land in Texas and almost 32,000 acres in Oklahoma. For the Lone Star State, that would be a record for a wildfire. The fires have torn mainly through Texas cattle country, with livestock lost estimates in the thousands.

There have been two reported deaths and countless homes, barns, and other buildings. The owners of the historic Turkey Track ranch in Texas claim that they have lost at least 80% of their land to the still-raging fires. The Ranch said in a statement: “The loss of livestock, crops, and wildlife, as well as ranch fencing and other infrastructure throughout our property as well as other ranches and homes across the region, is, we believe, unparalleled in our history.”

The Texas Panhandle is primarily a cattle ranching region. It is estimated that 85% of the Panhandle is utilized for beef cattle. State Ag Commissioner Sid Miller claimed that the panhandle is home to more than 10 million head of livestock. He said in a statement: “There are millions of cattle out there, with some towns comprising more cattle than people. The losses could be catastrophic for those counties. Farmers and ranchers are losing everything.”

As of Thursday, the Smokehouse Creek fire was reportedly only 3% contained; however, rain was in the forecast, and authorities hope that will aid containment efforts. Sean Dugan of the Texas A&M Forest Service said: “Most of the fuels around here are dried grass, though, in some of the drainages and stuff, you can get some heavier fuel, some trees, some brush, things like that.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, reportedly on former President Donald Trump’s shortlist for Vice President, issued a disaster declaration that read in part: “The State of Texas stands ready to provide support to our local partners and deploy all resources needed to protect our fellow Texans and their property. Hot and dry conditions caused by high temperatures and windy conditions are expected to continue in the region in the coming days. These conditions could increase the potential for these wildfires to grow larger and more dangerous. Texans are urged to limit activities that could create sparks and take precautions to keep their loved ones safe. I also want to thank the brave firefighters and first responders who are working tirelessly to protect their fellow Texans.”

Meanwhile, Joe Biden was in the state to finally visit the southern border as the immigration reaches critical mass, and after flying over the wildfires, seized the opportunity to push his climate change agenda and insult skeptics. He said: “The idea there’s no such thing as climate change. I love that, man. I love some of my Neanderthal friends who still think there’s no climate change.”

It is a tragic scene in Texas. The exact cause of the fires has yet to be determined, and any impact on dairy or beef prices in the United States is also unknown. However, considering the magnitude of the fires, some impact is almost unavoidable. Wildfires happen, and natural disasters are just that: natural. Hopefully, the fires can be contained soon, and Texas and Oklahoma can begin to recover.






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