The Smokehouse Creek Fire in Texas covers 500,000 acres with no containment

A wildfire in the Texas panhandle was burning out of control Tuesday as it threatened towns and forced residents to evacuate their homes.

The Smokehouse Creek fire burning near Stinnett, about 60 miles northeast of Amarillo, was originally reported Monday evening and has grown to an estimated 500,000 acres by around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday with no containment, according to a tweet from the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The fire is primarily being fueled by tall grass.

Smokehouse Creek Fire in Hutchinson Co., taken on Feb. 27, 2024.
Smokehouse Creek Fire in Hutchinson Co., taken on Feb. 27, 2024.

On Monday, the National Weather Service Office in Amarillo warned that grasses would be drier because of warmer weather.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, it asked residents to "avoid flames and sparks over the next several days" as strong winds could help fires grow.

Smokehouse Creek fire map

The Smokehouse Creek Fire Is located in Hutchinson County, Texas.

Fire's cause under investigation

The Texas A&M Forest Service told USA TODAY the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

However, Erin O'Connor, the organization's lead public information officer, said that drier conditions have led to expanded dry areas that have contributed to the growth of the fire and have not helped the situation.

Currently, the fire is not contained at all, but evacuation efforts are underway, states a tweet posted by Texas A&M.

West Texas wildfires

Texas A&M Forest Service is also tracking a few other fires across the state.

According to Texas A&M, these are the locations, sizes and containment of the fires as of 6:15 p.m. EST, Tuesday:

  • Grape Vine Creek Fire — Gray County, 30,000 acres, 60% containment

  • Windy Deuce Fire — Moore County, 40,000 acres, 20% containment

  • Juliet Pass Fire — Armstrong County, 2,963 acres, 100% containment

Julia is a trending reporter for USA TODAY. She has covered various topics, from local businesses and government in her hometown, Miami, to tech and pop culture.

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Contributing: Alexis Simmerman, Austin American-Statesman

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Smokehouse Creek Fire map: Texas panhandle blaze covers 500,000 acres