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Wildfires raging across the Texas panhandle continue to pose significant challenges, with one blaze, the Smokehouse Creek Fire, expanding to cover 850,000 acres, ranking as the state’s second-largest wildfire on record.

In response to the escalating crisis, Governor Greg Abbott has elevated the readiness level of the Texas State Emergency Operations Center, enabling the deployment of additional resources to the affected areas.

The Texas A&M Forest Service indicated on Wednesday that the fire conditions would temporarily ease from Wednesday through Friday.

There remains a heightened risk of wildfire activity across the Plains, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, when strong winds are forecasted for West Texas.

As of 12:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, the forest service reported 64 counties under burn bans, with six active wildfires and two fires contained.

According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, a USA TODAY network site, the Texas Panhandle region is currently contending with five active fires.