Gusty winds fueling imminent wildfire threat to town in Texas Panhandle


Dry and windy conditions in the Texas Panhandle have escalated concerns of wildfires burning out of control and approaching populated areas.


February 27, 2024

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AccuWeather Global Weather Center – February 27, 2024

A fast-moving wildfire is threatening communities near Canadian, Texas.

AccuWeather meteorologists say southwesterly winds gusting to 60 mph are fueling the Smokehouse Creek grassland fire, which is burning west of the town of Canadian, located 100 miles northeast of Amarillo.



Winds are expected to shift and begin blowing from the north, behind a strong cold front between 3:30pm CT and 4:30 pm CT, which can lead to rapid expansion of the wildfire, erratic fire behavior and changes to direction the fire is spreading, according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jon Porter.

“AccuWeather meteorologists are concerned this can result in the wildfire directly impacting parts of Canadian, which may quickly escalate into a life-threatening emergency,” said Porter.

Authorities in Hemphill County, Texas have urged people near the fire to prepare to evacuate.

The Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office said danger to the town of Canadian will increase this afternoon, when the wind direction changes as the cold front passes through.

Fire officials said unfavorable weather conditions and rough terrain have complicated efforts to contain the fire.

The Smokehouse Creek grassland fire has burned an estimated 40,000 acres. Fire officials said no injuries have been reported as of Tuesday afternoon.

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