‘We needed prayer’: Texas mayor on raging wildfires

  • Wildfires have destroyed as many as 500 structures in the Texas Panhandle
  • Amarillo, Texas mayor: "We truly come together in times like this"
  • NWS forecasts significant wildfire threat in the coming days

(NewsNation) — Wildfires have destroyed as many as 500 structures in the Texas Panhandle, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday, describing how the largest blaze in state history scorched everything in its path, leaving ashes in its wake.

Mayor Cole Stanley of Amarillo, Texas, joined NewsNation’s “Morning in America” to share what his city is going through, saying they have received tremendous help from the community.

“We truly come together in times like this, and this is really unprecedented. I mean over 1.1 million acres last I saw a map roughly 1,700 square miles that would you can overlay over the entire Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex, and it would still expand past that,” Stanley said. “We are tired, we are a little fatigued, and we couldn’t be more thankful for all of the community help that we have.”

The largest blaze, the Smokehouse Creek fire, which began Monday, has killed at least two people, and left a charred landscape of scorched prairie, dead cattle and burned-out homes.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, although strong winds, dry grass and unseasonably warm weather fed the flames.

Stanley tells NewsNation while the fire is continuing to spread, the situation could be worse.

“We needed prayer and we got it. The wind turned and went the other direction, blew the fire back on itself. As bad and as catastrophic as it is. It’s not as bad as it could have been. And I’ll tell you, what we need right now is we need a calm weekend,” Stanley said.

The National Weather Service forecast for the coming days warns of strong winds, relatively low humidity and dry conditions that pose a “significant” wildfire threat.

“The residents here in the Texas panhandle, are very active and community oriented. And we come together for each other. But then we’re also pretty smart. And so everybody’s vacated where they needed to. And of course, everybody is keeping their distance letting the professionals handle this,” Stanley said.

Weekend Morning in America

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