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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024


Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

Assistance opportunities available to help wildfire victims

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Wildfire STOCK

By Chris Edwards
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PANHANDLE PLAINS – Last week saw the largest wildfire in Texas history ravage the Panhandle region. According to authorities, the fire, named the Smokehouse Creek fire, which broke out in Hutchinson County, has burned through almost 1.3 million acres.

In its path, it has killed thousands of head of livestock; incinerated crops and destroyed hundreds of structures. At press time, firefighters were still extinguishing the blaze, and only 37% had been contained. The fire was initially reported last Monday, Feb. 26.

The amount contained only reduced the amount of total acreage still on fire by about 10,000 acres, to just under 1.06 million acres, according to Texas Forest Service officials.

One report noted that the amount of land burned over the course of one week in these fires is nearly equivalent to the amount of land burned through several years in the entire state. Other blazes, including the Grapevine Creek Fire in Gray County;the Windy Deuce Fire in Moore County were also reported as wildfires that began in the Panhandle and spread over into Oklahoma.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, from 2017 to 2021, the agency responded to 3,682 wildfires, which were responsible for burning nearly 1.4 million acres.

Officials have cited ideal conditions for fire weather, including high temperatures, dry air and strong winds, as being contributors to the spread of the fires.  Dry grass was also a big contributor, according to officials, that fueled the spread of the fires.

A statement from Texas A&M Forest Service said that “cooler temperatures and less wind will aid in the ongoing suppression efforts for active wildfires,” and added that an underlying risk for new wildfires will continue until the spring green-up occurs within the regions of the panhandle and in South Texas.

According to the Tyler County AgriLife Extension Office, there are opportunities available to assist victims of the wildfires.

Hay, feed, fencing supplies, cow feed and milk replacers are needed, and can be delivered to the address of 301 Bull Barn Road, Pampa, TX 79065. Anyone interested in donating and getting more information about immediate needs can call 806-669-8033 or 325-728-0477.

Monetary donations can also be made. According to Pampa Emergency Services Coordinator Troy Schwiegerath, payments can be made directly to the City of Pampa, Attn: Finance, PO Box 2499, Pampa, TX 79066-2499, or over the phone to FirstBank Southwest of Pampa, by calling 806-669-8007, by referencing “City of Pampa donation for Smokehouse Creek Fire.”

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