As I type this on Wednesday night the biggest group of wildfires that I’ve ever seen hit the panhandle is just about contained, hopefully for good this time.
The latest update on the largest of those three fires, the Perryton fire came around 6:30 and said that it was 75% contained. That fire burned over 300 thousand acres and almost 500 square miles, and most unfortunately claimed the life of a father-to-be. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the young man’s funeral expenses and for his wife and child. One report said the fire had been started by power lines sparking as they swayed in the wind.
The Lefors Fire that got started in SE Gray County is 100% contained. That fire burned about 135 thousand acres and proved the most deadly, claiming the lives of a father of two, along with a couple that tried to rescue livestock. Investigations as to the cause of that fire are ongoing.
The Dumas fire just north of Amarillo was the smallest of the three fires this week, but was still larger than any before it this year. It burned about 28,000 acres and was 100% contained by the end of Monday night.
All told here in the panhandle, not even counting the madness going on in Oklahoma and Kansas, nearly half-a-million acres were burned right off the face of this hallowed Texas ground including Hank the Cowdog’s ranch and more cattle than anyone’s ever going to be able to count. The fact that no more than four people died was an absolute miracle made possible by local fire departments, road crews, Texas Forest Service, aid sent from Governor Abbott, and many, many more people that laughed in the face of danger to keep their friends and neighbors safe. Every single one of you has my gratitude and more importantly, my respect.
We all hope there won’t ever be a fire as big as these again around here, but there will inevitably be another fire. So, let’s all honor the lives of those that died in these fires, and when that day comes listen to the evacuation orders that come, don’t risk your life for your belongings, and even though your cattle are your livelihood they’re not worth your life.
It’s with a heavy heart this time that I say thanks for reading, and happy trails.