Wildfires engulf the Texas panhandle, home to the nations’s largest nuclear weapons plant.

The second-largest wildfire in Texas history raged across the state’s panhandle along with several other major blazes on Wednesday, prompting evacuations, school closures and a temporary shut down of the nation’s primary nuclear weapons facility.

Smokehouse Creek Fire, taken yesterday, 2/27/24, Hutchinson County, Texas

Amarillo News reports, “Five wildfires are still ranging in the Panhandle as of Wednesday morning, scorching more than 580,000 acres. The largest among them, Smokehouse Creek in Stinnett, has burned more than 500,000 acres, equivalent to about 800 square miles, making it the second-largest wildfire in state history.”

The fire has rapidly expanded from 100,000 acres in less than 24 hours and remains at zero percent containment, as reported by the Texas A&M Forest Service. The cause of the fire is still under investigation

USA Today reports, “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 60 counties to enable critical resources to be deployed to areas impacted by the wildfires. The Smokehouse Creek fire is the largest of the blazes that ripped across the region, but it is among 13 fires that started on Monday.”

According to Politico, the fire is near the Pantex Nuclear Weapons plant, the largest facility in the nation for assembling and disassembling our nuclear arsenal. The main facility that assembles and disassembles America’s nuclear arsenal shut down its operations Tuesday night in Texas as fires raged out of control near its facility. Pantex issued a statement online saying it had paused operations until further notice.

“The fire near Pantex is not contained,” the company said. “Response efforts have shifted to evacuations. There is a small number of non-essential personnel sheltered on-site. Since 1975, Pantex has been the U.S. main assembly and disassembly site for its atomic bombs. It assembled the last new bomb in 1991. In the time since, it has dismantled thousands of weapons.

Amarillo News states that last night, an “undisclosed incident” occurred which has yet to be explained by Pantex. In what sounds like AI-Speak,the “news” reports that “Earlier in the evening, Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) officials stated an undisclosed incident occurred at 6:13 p.m., and while there are response personnel at the scene, there were no confirmed details of that incident by that time, reads a news release from Pantex. “CNS and NNSA officials are directing response efforts,” the news release continues. “Appropriate precautionary protection actions have been initiated for Pantex employees.”