Texas Wildfire Causes ‘Catastrophic Losses’ to Cattle Herds: ‘Farmers & Ranchers Are Losing Everything’

The devasting impact of the Texas wildfires is beginning to emerge as the cattle industry braces for historic losses.

One of several wildfires raging in the Texas Panhandle has now grown to become the largest in state history.

The Smokehouse Creek fire has been burning since Monday and has so far destroyed over one million acres of land in Texas alone.

However, emergency crews have made little progress in containing it.

It has so far torched the most land than any other recorded wildfire in the history of the state.

The same blaze has also destroyed 31,500 acres in Oklahoma, according to CNN.

The Smokehouse Creek fire is just one of several that have ripped through Texas cattle country this week.

Two people have died so far in the fires.

Ranchers have lost thousands of livestock with many more likely to be euthanized.

Many homes and other buildings have been lost to the flames, as well.

Entire towns have been evacuated as emergency crews battle to contain the fires, with little success.

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The owners of the historic Turkey Track ranch in Texas estimate that it has lost at least 80% of its land to the wildfires.

“The loss of livestock, crops, and wildlife, as well as ranch fencing and other infrastructure throughout our property as well as other ranches and homes across the region is, we believe, unparalleled in our history,” the ranch said in a statement.

State Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller told The New York Times that the Panhandle is home to roughly 85% of Texas’s cattle herds.

The region supports over 10 million head of livestock.

Most of the cattle are kept in feedlots and dairy farms as farmers and ranchers attempt to shield their herds from the wildfires, Miller said.

“There are millions of cattle out there, with some towns comprising more cattle than people,” Miller told The Wall Street Journal.

“The losses could be catastrophic for those counties.

Farmers and ranchers are losing everything.”

Videos of the Texas wildfires have surfaced on social media.

The footage shows miles of land covered in flames and dark smoke.

As of Thursday afternoon, fire officials said the Smokehouse Fire was just 3% contained.

WATCH:

Sean Dugan of the Texas A&M Forest Service told CBS News:

“Most of the fuels around here are dried grass, though, in some of the drainages and stuff, you can get some heavier fuel, some trees, some brush, things like that.”

On Tuesday, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 60 counties because of the wildfires.

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