Texas Has Never Seen a Fire This Big. Here Is What We Know.

The Smokehouse Creek fire, the largest on record in Texas, is still largely uncontrolled across the state’s Panhandle.

So far, the fire has scorched more than a million acres, making it one of the most destructive in U.S. history. The blaze has devastated cattle ranches, consumed homes and killed at least two people. More hot, dry weather over the weekend threatens to worsen conditions.

Here is what we know so far.

When did it begin?

The blaze was ignited on Monday, and it’s not yet clear what started it.

It spread around the town of Canadian, a cattle-country community of around 2,200 people northeast of Amarillo, near the Oklahoma state line. By Wednesday, the fire had spread across vast swaths of ranch lands in the Panhandle. By Thursday, it had become the largest on record in the state.

In order to grow so quickly, a few weather conditions had to align: high temperatures, dry conditions and strong winds.

On Monday, it was 82 degrees in Amarillo. The average daytime high temperature there in February is 54 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

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