500+ structures destroyed by Smokehouse Creek fire

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Having already burned more than a million acres, the record-breaking Texas Smokehouse Creek fire is set for further expansion, with officials noting more than 500 structures have been destroyed.

Camp WildfireHot and windy conditions have facilitated and accelerated wildfire growth in the southern United States since February 26, leading to several destructive blazes in the Texas Panhandle.

As per Texas authorities on March 1, the official figure sits at over 1.26m acres burned across 131 different fires.

The largest of these is the Smokehouse Creek fire, which continues to grow and is now burning in Oklahoma after merging with another fire.

The Smokehouse Creek fire is reportedly just 15% contained and has destroyed around 500 structures.

Reports indicate that the actual figure for structures destroyed remains uncertain and is likely to be far higher, with many of them being agricultural structures rather than homes.

CoreLogic has suggested there are around 1,544 single-family residential properties, with a combined reconstruction value of $356 million, located within the wildfire perimeter.

Earlier this week, Aon noted the ongoing Texas fires are anticipated to drive losses in the hundreds of millions USD.

Meanwhile, as covered by our sister publication, Artemis, electrical utility equipment is being blamed for starting at least some of these wildfires, including the Smokehouse Creek fire.

Over the weekend a lawsuit was reportedly filed against Xcel Energy by a Texas homeowner who said the fire northeast of Amarillo was started by a broken power pole owned by the company that fell and ignited the blaze.

The lawsuit claims the power pole was damaged before it fell and then the fire was started, on which lawyer Mikal Watts said, “Xcel will pay for every dollar that its wildfire has caused.”

A company that inspected Xcel Energy’s power lines, Osmose Utilities Services, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The post 500+ structures destroyed by Smokehouse Creek fire appeared first on ReinsuranceNe.ws.

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