83-Year-Old Grandma Dies in Historic Million-Acre Texas Panhandle Wildfire

Smokehouse Creek Wildfires Day 3 (AP Photos including Greenville VFD)
AP Photos including Greenville VFD

Firefighters in the Texas Panhandle recovered the remains of 83-year-old Joyce Blankenship in her home which burned in the largest wildfire in Texas history. Officials report the fire consumed more than one million acres and is only three percent contained.

Hemphill County Emergency Management Coordinator Bill Kendall told KFDA CBS10 in Amarillo, Texas, that more than 40 homes have burned in the Smokehouse Creek wildfire. The fire began earlier this week in Stinnett, Texas, and spread east. The passage of a cold front on Tuesday changed the wind direction and moved the fire to the south.

Video posted on X shows the massive fire and its coverage in the Texas Panhandle communities. The million-acre fire is larger than the state of Rhode Island.

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered a massive response from state agencies to help combat the rapidly spreading fire, Breitbart Texas reported.

The National Park Service is now also providing assistance to the Texas Panhandle firefighters.

The Smokehouse Creek Wildfire claimed the live of 83-year-old Joyce Blankenship.  (Facebook/Nathan Blankenship)

The Smokehouse Creek Wildfire claimed the live of 83-year-old Joyce Blankenship. (Facebook/Nathan Blankenship)

Officials in Stinnett reported that firefighters recovered the body of Joyce Blankenship, an 83-year-old retired substitute teacher. Her grandson, Lee Quesada reported her missing. Firefighters found her in her burned home, the local CBS affiliate reported on Wednesday.

By Thursday morning, temperatures in the area fell into the 20s and snow began to fall. The change in weather has had little impact on the still-spreading fire, MyHighPlains.com reported.

Multiple media reports indicate thousands of cattle have died in the historic fire.

Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday morning talk show. He also serves as president of Blue Wonder Gun Care Products 


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