A Compounding Problem: Realities of the Smokehouse Creek Fire damage to agriculture operations

While the reality of the damage from the devastating Smokehouse Creek Fire is compounding, according to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Meteorologist Brad Rippey, weather conditions are improving.

The Smokehouse Creek Fire is now 44% contained, but the realities of the damages are coming to light. The Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller provides an update:

“One of the problems we have is we have over 120 miles of power lines down—burnt laying on the ground. So, a lot of these communities have no electricity. Most of the stock up there is watered through water troughs. That means a pump. That means no electricity, no water. So, not only do they not have grass, they have no water. So, that compounds the problem. We’ve closed 16 schools and evacuated those. We think two of them have had some fire damage. There’s seven grain and seed dealers completely wiped out, everything gone. Equipment, storage, inventory, just completely wiped out.”
Sid Miller, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture

While the reality of the damage from this devastating wildfire is compounding, according to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Meteorologist Brad Rippey, weather conditions are improving, which could help firefighters in the Texas Panhandle.

“We are looking at a cooler weather pattern spreading southward across much of the country that includes the Southern Great Plains. So, we will see temperatures returning at least to normal levels, and it looks like the winds will stay down a bit. Humidity a little bit higher.”
Brad Rippey, USDA Meteorologist

Rippey says there is still a lot of vegetation that could still burn, but at least for the next several days. Also, the threat of any additional wildfires will be fairly minimal across the region.

Meanwhile, bales of hope are rolling into the Panhandle.

The Texas Farm Bureau shared these pictures of trucks and trailers loaded down with hay, feed, milk replacer, fencing supplies, and more that are making their way across the state to the regional supply points and straight to ranchers in the Panhandle.

“It is Texans taking care of Texans. Ranchers taking care of ranchers, and communities rallying together to support Panhandle families.”
Texas Farm Bureau


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