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Texas Nuclear Weapons Plant Evacuated Amid Spreading Wildfires

Rapidly moving Texas wildfires that have 11 million under a ‘red flag warning’ have shut down a nuclear facility as strong winds, dry grass and unseasonably warm temperatures have fueled the blaze.

The main facility that assembles and disassembles America’s nuclear arsenal have evacuated most of its personnel on 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.’

Pantex has been the US’ main assembly and disassembly site for the country’s arsenal of atomic bombs since 1975. The last new bomb was assembled at the facility in 1991. In the years that followed, Pantex has also dismantled thousands of warheads.

The evacuation of Pantex’s plant, located 30 miles east of Amarillo, comes as the four active wildfires are blazing through Texas as crews are working to contain the flames and citizens are ordered to evacuate.

The Smokehouse Creek Fire has burned more than 200,000 acres since igniting Monday, and is at zero percent contained according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The towns of Canadian, Glazier and Higgins have issued evacuation orders for its residents, reported KVII.

‘The Smokehouse Creek fire is being fueled by southwesterly winds to 60 mph and is rapidly spreading east-northeast towards the Texas town of Canadian,’ said AccuWeather severe weather expert Dan Pearson.

‘Between 3:30 p.m. CT and 4:30 p.m. CT, winds will shift behind a strong cold front and will quickly change the direction the fire will spread.’

City officials from Fritch, Texas have also ordered evacuations due to a separate fire.

The Grape Vine Creek Fire has reached 30,000 acres and is 20 percent contained. The Windy Deuce Fire is 8,000 acres and 20 percent contained, and the Juliet Pass Fire is 2,963 acres and 90 percent contained.

Hansford County Office of Emergency Management said on Facebook, ‘The town is being threatened by the fire, and evacuations of the double Diamond area are being implemented per Judge Irwin Hutchinson County.’

‘Judge Irwin personally thanked Hansford County for sending resources to assist! A disaster declaration is being ordered! Other evacuations in our area are as follows Canadian has been urged to evacuate and residents on the North River in Roberts county also.’

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for over 11 million Texans affected by the fires.

Warm temperatures combined with gusty winds and dry conditions prompted the warning, according to Fox West Texas.

The red flag warning is in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and critical fire conditions are forecast to affect the northwestern Concho Valley and most of the Big Country. Strong westerly winds could reach 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 65 mph.

‘Critical fire weather conditions continue through this evening across all of the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles due to strong west winds,’ said the weather service.

The National Weather Service has advised people to avoid outdoor activities that could create open flames or sparks.

Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd said on Twitter, ‘Fire weather today is going to be rough.’

‘We are surging additional resources into the area. Watch out for fire trucks and heavy equipment. Be ready to evacuate if ordered by your local officials.’

The Texas A&M Forest Service said they responded to 13 wildfires for 77,135 acres on Monday.

‘Several large wildfires ignited under warm, dry and windy conditions across the Texas Panhandle. Today, strong winds will likely impact these wildfires and the potential for new ignitions remains,’ the service said on Twitter.

AccuWeather meteorologist Dan DePodwin said, ‘The strong winds impacting the fires in the Texas Panhandle are expected to continue Tuesday evening before diminishing to 15-25 mph after midnight.’

‘Winds on Wednesday are expected to be 10-20 mph which is much calmer than Tuesday. This should aid in firefighting efforts.’

READ 18 COMMENTS
  • Robert D. says:

    Why in he h. . .would you have anything combustible NEAR the facility? This doesn’t totally add up.
    We need to get our act together in the country before things get any worse.

  • Carl Mac says:

    It’s interesting that they let the name of this company Pantex out and even where it’s located I’m surprised that they didn’t put the address in this report as well, one would think locations of anything dealing with atomic bombs would be a classified secret I wonder how many Chinese spy satellites are zeroing in on the location, I guess we just can’t keep secrets like we used to.

  • Tonphu69 says:

    Anyone nearby needs to keep an eye on this….Cause I’m willing to be ‘Nuclear materials’ will mysteriously vanish(!)
    before it’s opened back up again.

  • Patty says:

    Very frightening on so many levels! It is odd that so many fires are springing up all over Texas, are illegals starting them? Very well could be, or hired arsonists starting them. Something doesn’t sound right. Pray for all those affected, and hopefully other states will send crews to help fight the fires.

  • nana says:

    7 fires starting in 1 day, seems very suspicious to me

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