DEVELOPING: Massive Wildfires Engulf Parts of Texas Panhandle – 60 Counties Under Threat – Evacuations Underway (VIDEO)

Massive wildfires engulfed parts of the Texas panhandle on Tuesday amid gusty winds and unseasonably warm weather.

60 counties are under emergency declaration because of the fires. Evacuations are underway for some residents.

WATCH:

Additional footage of the wildfires:

According to Texas Storm Chasers, winds shifted at 5 pm local time. A cold front is expected to move through the area Tuesday evening.

CNN reported:

A massive blaze that’s raging out of control is threatening Texas Panhandle towns and forcing residents to evacuate.

The Smokehouse Creek Fire, the largest wildfire burning in the region, has exploded to 200,000 acres since igniting Monday afternoon, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The blaze, driven by gusty winds and fueled by dry, unseasonably warm conditions, is moving incredibly rapidly and remains 0% contained.

Evacuations were ordered early Tuesday afternoon for parts of Hemphill and Roberts counties as the fire encroached on populated areas. This includes the town of Canadian, Texas, around an hour and half northeast of Amarillo, Texas.

Parts of Fritch, Texas, which straddles Moore and Hutchinson counties to the north of Amarillo, are also under an evacuation order for a separate fire, city officials and the Texas A&M Forest Service said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement on the wildfires.

“I issued a disaster declaration today to deploy resources to 60 counties impacted by these devastating wildfires,” Abbott said. “Please take all precautions to protect yourself & your loved ones.”

“Thanks to the brave firefighters working 24/7 to protect their fellow Texans,” Abbott said of the wildfires.


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