Governor Abbott Updates Texans On State Wildfire Response Efforts In Canadian

March 5, 2024 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Abbott today held a briefing with state and local officials and provided an update on Texas’ continued wildfire response efforts at a press conference in Canadian.

"As Texas experiences the largest wildfire in the history of our state, we remain ready to deploy every available resource to ensure communities in the Panhandle have the help they need to stay safe and work their way towards recovery," said Governor Abbott. "The wildfires are not over yet—and until they are—it is essential that Texans in at-risk areas remain weather aware to maintain the safety of themselves and their property. Thank you to everyone across the state and country who have generously extended a helping hand to the many families who have been impacted by these devastating wildfires. We will continue to work around-the-clock to ensure Texans who have lost everything have the support they need to rebuild and recover."

At the press conference, the Governor highlighted resources the State of Texas has provided to impacted communities as state and local emergency personnel continue responding to historic wildfires in the Texas Panhandle. Additionally, Governor Abbott emphasized the increasing need for livestock resources such as fencing materials, cattle cubes, and hay in the Panhandle. The Governor also honored Fritch Volunteer Fire Chief Zeb Smith who lost his life while responding to a structure fire in Hutchinson County for his heroic service, as well as the many firefighters who continue to risk their lives in the line of duty to protect their fellow Texans.

The Governor was joined at the briefing and press conference by Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, Hemphill County Judge Lisa Johnson, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Director Dr. Rick Avery, Senator Charles Perry, Senator Kevin Sparks, Representative Ken King, Representative Four Price, Representative John Smithee, Canadian Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scott Brewster, and other state and local officials.


The following active wildfires have state ongoing support as of today:

  • Grape Vine Creek Fire, Gray County - 34,882 acres, 60% contained
  • Smokehouse Creek Fire, Hutchinson County - est. 1,059,570 acres, 37% contained
  • Windy Deuce Fire, Moore County - 144,206 acres, 55% contained
  • Roughneck Fire, Hutchinson County - 355 acres, 80% contained


Governor Abbott continues to take action to provide all available resources to help support local communities and protect Texans from these devastating wildfires, including:

  • Issuing a disaster declaration for 60 Texas counties in response to widespread wildfire activity. Additional counties may be added as conditions warrant.
  • Holding a briefing with state and local officials and providing an update on the state’s ongoing response to wildfires impacting the state. 
  • Granting waivers for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to support a swift state response in support of impacted Texans. 
  • Directing TDEM to deploy additional state emergency response resources and raise the readiness level of the State Emergency Operations Center to support the priority needs of communities facing impacts from these wildfires. 
  • Receiving approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) request for the Smokehouse Creek Fire and Windy Deuce Fire, meaning that Texas will be eligible for 75% reimbursement from the federal government for costs associated with fighting those fires


Texans can visit for information on how to make a monetary or supply donation to communities in need.

Texans impacted by devastating wildfires are encouraged to complete TDEM’s Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) self-reporting damage survey to help state and local officials identify damages and determine the state’s eligibility for federal disaster assistance. The survey is available in both English and Spanish and can be accessed by visiting:

Information provided in the self-reported damage assessment surveys help emergency management officials identify any immediate resource needs and understand the extent of damages that have occurred. Survey information also aids officials in determining the state’s eligibility for various forms of federal disaster assistance. Reporting damage through the iSTAT tool is a voluntary activity and is not a substitute for reporting damage to your insurance agency. It does not guarantee disaster assistance.

Texans are encouraged to continue taking all measures to prevent wildfires, including making an emergency plan, avoiding activities that cause sparks, and following instructions from local officials. Texans can visit for wildfire tips, for safety information, and to report wildfire damages.