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After a welcome snowfall gave firefighters a brief break Thursday from hot and dry conditions while fighting the largest wildfire in Texas history, firefighters are now facing a return to dangerous fire weather over the weekend.

The deadly Smokehouse Creek wildfire has exploded to more than 1 million acres of land in just four days in the Texas Panhandle.

One person has died, and numerous homes have been destroyed.

A weak area of low pressure swung through the Texas wildfire zones Thursday, bringing about 1-3 inches of snow to the Panhandle, according to the National Weather Service. 

But now temperatures are rising, humidity is dropping, and winds are increasing.

Temperatures on Friday will warm back into the 70s with humidity levels dropping below 20%.

While winds will remain light Friday, they will return in force over the weekend, marking a return of dangerous fire weather conditions. 

Fire Weather Watches are in effect throughout the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and up into Kansas and eastern Colorado for critical fire conditions through the weekend. 

After snowfall gave firefighters a brief break Thursday from hot and dry conditions while fighting the largest wildfire in Texas history, firefighters are now facing a return to dangerous fire. AP

Winds on Saturday will begin to gust up to 40 mph and then will increase slightly on Sunday with gusts up to 50 mph, according to the FOX Forecast Center.

Humidity levels may drop to 5-10%. 

Unfortunately little, if any, rain is forecast over the next seven days.

Over 1.25 million acres scored between several Texas wildfires

Five major wildfires in the Texas Panhandle have consumed over 1.25 million acres, prompting evacuations, road closures, and emergency declarations.

Five major wildfires in the Texas Panhandle have consumed over 1.25 million acres, according to reports. ZUMAPRESS.com
Shown above are the latest statistics of the Texas wildfire. Fox Weather Center

The largest fire burning remains the Smokehouse Creek Fire north of Stinnett, at a Texas record 1.075 million acres and only 3% containment. 

That fire claimed a life in Hutchinson County north of Amarillo, and dozens of structures were damaged after flames erupted Monday.

The fire exploded in size midweek, growing from 300,000 acres to 1.075 million acres in two days as it raced east.

Heavy smoke from the Windy Deuce wildfire can be seen in the Panhandle region of Texas.
HANDOUT/TEXAS AM FOREST SERVICE HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

While some of that fire has now scorched land in Oklahoma, the 1.05 million acres burned in Texas is now the largest wildfire in state history.

That includes what was known as the 687Reamer Fire, which has been absorbed by Smokehouse Creek.

Fire officials lifted the evacuation order for the town of Canadian on Wednesday but warned there is still “moderate” potential for fire growth.

“Ground crews are moving along the fire with heavy machinery, but the rough terrain is causing slow progress,” according to the Wednesday night update from Texas A&M Forest Service. More firefighting resources are arriving on Thursday.

Windy Deuce Fire devastates town of Fritch, Texas 

Farther west, the Windy Deuce Fire has burned 142,000 acres across Moore, Potter, and Carson counties, leading to the evacuation of several communities.

The fire has consumed about half the town of Fritch and remains only 50% contained.

“Well, our house is still standing,” homeowner Lee Quesada said during a video tour of his scorched neighborhood. “But then, if you look over on the other side of that tree, which is on fire, two structures, neighbors, two houses down across the street on fire.”

And to the south and east of the massive Smokehouse Creek Fire, the Grape Vine Creek Fire is 60% contained after burning 30,000 acres. 

The Windy Deuce Fire has burned 142,000 acres across several counties, leading to evacuations.
Amarillo Fire Department/AFP via Getty Images
Parts of Amarillo, Texas will see more smoke than other parts of the state, according to Fox Weather. Fox Weather Center

The fires are not only sending residents scrambling for safety but also sending thick plumes of smoke across the Texas Panhandle and into the Plains.

Wind forecasts show that smoke will continue to push north across the Oklahoma Panhandle through Kansas and Nebraska into Minnesota and western Wisconsin, on Friday, though not as thick as Thursday.

Fire scorches weather station as thermometer reads 126 degrees

That fire claimed a life in Hutchinson County north of Amarillo, and dozens of structures were damaged after flames erupted Monday. GREENVILE TX FIRE-RESCUE HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The fire spread into the town of Canadian, Texas, on Tuesday, where flames burned through an automated weather station Tuesday afternoon.

According to the West Texas Mesonet, which operates the station, a temperature as high as 126 degrees was recorded at the site before it was destroyed.

Operations at a nuclear weapons facility outside of Amarillo were halted after flames got dangerously close to the property.

Late Tuesday, Pantex said all the facility’s employees were accounted for, and firefighters were in structure protection mode, but the property remains secure.

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