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Texas Panhandle Fire Update - 03-15-2024


Governor Abbott Announces SBA Assistance For Panhandle Wildfires
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Prayer first dear consolers of The Good Lord, I offer a prayer this Friday with both an eye on Easter to come and on the destructive fire damage here now with us every day.  Overwhelming.  Let us pray The Assisi Peace Prayer.

“Lord, Make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.  Where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith, where there is despair, hope, where there is darkness, light, and where there is sadness, joy.  O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive – it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” 


A PDP Summary:

  1. The fire containment for the Smokehouse Creek fire is quoted between 89-91 percent this morning; see the attachments for county-by-county response centers.  Canadian FPC Clerk of Session Remelle Farrar shares that FPC has spent over $58,000.00 in two ways: Meals around the clock and grants to families who have lost their homes.  They are speedily relaying money they have receive from others to those in need.  They are working hard to assess and respond with wisdom and tenderness. 

In the Canadian area, 6,000 cattle have been killed by fire or euthanized in pain. As it turns out, this is not a valid number; it is low.  Many ranchers when asked about their herd will humbly say something like, “Please do not worry about me or my losses.  Please go check on my neighbor.  They need help more.” In most cases, the cow that died by the fires had a calf die next to it; calves are not counted in the head count, and calves are not counted in the insurance coverage that ranchers may report.  This is a devastating financial and emotional loss.  Carcas clean up is a large process that reminds us of the damage to all of us.  With great respect, it also reminds us that we are talking about families’ livelihoods and not to forget the importance of our food supply chain.


  1. Rev. Jannell Blair and FPC Borger says the community is focused on assessing the damage, and they are taking their humble sums and giving them away rapidly based on need.  Clean up is the community focus.  Together they are helping in the devastation of Stinnett and Fritch where collectively over 200 homes have burned to the ground.                                                                                                                                       

  2. A friend of the presbytery office says that their family Clarendon ranch land suffered significant fire damage, and still after firefighters initially put out the fire there continued to be numerous spot fires that took their fearful attention around the clock to put out. They believe, however, that the fire now is completely out. 

  3. In our drive for fire disaster giving as of today, Palo Duro Presbytery has received checks and PayPal giving of $9,236.47; this includes a PDA grant of $7,500.  We have paid out each penny to the church sessions with an emphasis on an immediate response.  We are anticipating a grant from the Synod of the Sun for $15,000.00.  Several churches and presbyteries have asked their meeting attendees to make their plate gift go for Palo Duro Presbytery Fire Assistance.  

  4. And PDA is now responding to tornado storms in Arkansas and Ohio; they are part of meetings in the Dominican Republic to review past actions in prior disasters; PDA is present through and through.  This is your PC(USA) at work.  Our prayers and participation as giver and as receiver go with the PDA and with one another in Christ’s Church.

  5. We are of one voice in saying with humility that we are overwhelmed with these heartful gifts. It is a constant to hear an update about the fires hour by hour followed by a big breath, and a statement like this: “Thank God the loss of life was not worse given the devastation.”


Severe Weather, Wildfire Maps & Update Resources

The Texas A&M Forest Service Incident Viewer is available at: https://public.tfswildfires.com/ *

Additional details are posted in the Texas Fire Potential Update at:https://bit.ly/TexasFirePotentialUpdate.

Please stay current with Texas fuels/fire danger products at https://ticc.tamu.edu/PredictiveServices/default.aspx and local your fire weather forecast at https://www.weather.gov/srh/.


We continue to encourage the public to call 2-1-1, visit www.211texas.org and monitor local media outlets for the identification of resources. Furthermore, it’s important to remind all local organizations offering resources, especially those related to a disaster, to add/update/delete listingshttps://www.211texas.org/add-or-edit-your-2-1-1-listing/  


 Current Situation for Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at 8:00 a.m.  

 Yesterday, Texas A&M Forest Service responded to 4 new requests for assistance on wildfires burning 15 acres across the state.

 Today, the fire environment will support the potential for multiple, high impact, large wildfires that are highly resistance to control near Lubbock, Paducah, Childress, Amarillo, Shamrock, and Perryton. A Southern Plains Wildfire Outbreak is possible. Rates of spread of 3-5 mph are likely in above normal grass loading. Any fires that become established may quickly outpace initial suppression efforts. A cold front is forecast to enter the High Plains tonight/tomorrow morning. This cold front passage will produce a change in wind speed and wind direction, potentially causing a brief increase in fire behavior for any ongoing wildfires.  

 The potential for large wildfires will decrease to low on Thursday across the High Plains behind the cold front passage as the fire environment will feature less wind, cooler temperatures and improving fuel moisture across the High Plains. Near normal to above normal fuel moisture will keep fire potential low for the majority of Texas Friday through Sunday.   


 There are currently 70 counties with burn bans in place.  

Active Wildfires:  

  • Smokehouse Creek Fire, Hutchinson County - est. 1,058,482 acres, 89% contained

  • Windy Deuce Fire, Moore County - 144,045 acres, 94% contained

 Contained Wildfires (100%):  

  • Coahoma Tracks, Howard County - 76 acres

  • Rusk 0671 Fire, Rusk County - 9.2 acres

  • Upshur 0672 Fire, Upshur County - 2 acres

  • Jasper 0664 Fire, Jasper County - 1.7 acres

  • Polk 0665 Fire, Polk County - 1.9 acres

Due to the threat of Extremely Critical Fire and Severe Weather impacting the State, the State Operations Center (SOC) conducted a coordination call for the State of Texas for Extremely Critical Fire and Severe Weather. NWS Weather slides are attached to this email.

The SOC has activated to a Level II – Escalated Response Posture for Texas Wildfires and Severe Weather.








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