Hot weather warning as state’s biggest blaze spreads

Displaced Texans offered housing in new initiative

Displaced Texans who have lost their homes or been evacuated due to wildfires have been offered new housing as part of a quickly-assembled initiative from the Texas Housing Foundation and state Rep. Ken King.

The plan has already housed several families, the foundation said in a statement early today, as reported by the Canadian newspaper.

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the fires in the Texas Panhandle,” said Allison Milliorn, the foundation’s chief operation officer.

“Joint effort is an example of the strength and resilience of the community, King said. “Together, we will come out of this tragedy stronger.”

Homes destroyed by Smokehouse Creek Fire

A firefighter works through smoldering debris of a home destroyed by the Smokehouse Creek Fire in Stinnett, Texas, yesterday.

Smokehouse Creek Fire
Julio Cortez / AP
The wildfire spreading across the Texas Panhandle became the largest in state history Thursday, as a dusting of snow covered scorched grassland, dead cattle and burned out homes and gave firefighters a brief window of relief in desperate efforts to corral the blaze.
Ty O’Neil / AP

Enormous Smokehouse Creek Fire shows few signs of stopping

With more than 1 million acres covered so far, an area larger than Rhode Island, the historic Smokehouse Creek fire is only 5% contained and was still raging across two states early today.

Authorities in the Texas Panhandle and parts of Oklahoma were battling to keep the blaze under control and to provide shelter to displaced families, as well as practical aid to the many farmers and ranchers who have seen their livelihoods and livestock damaged or destroyed.

So far, two people have been confirmed dead, but large parts of the remote and rural territory covered by the fire have yet to be surveyed.

On a visit to the U.S.-Texas border yesterday, President Joe Biden pledged to help affected communities.

“When disasters strike, there’s no red states or blue states where I come from,” he said. “Just communities and families looking for help. So we’re standing with everyone affected by these wildfires and we’re going to continue to help you respond and recover.”

Historic Texas wildfire burns more than 1 million acres

CANADIAN, Texas — The Smokehouse Creek Fire is now the largest in the state’s history and is only 3% contained. While cooler weather provided some relief, more hot, dry and windy weather is ahead. NBC News’ Guad Venegas reports.