A "state of emergency" was declared in the Panhandle in the northern US state of Texas due to forest fires that started on February 26.

State officials stated that nearly 5 thousand residents were evacuated due to the fires in the Panhandle and that approximately 240 thousand acres have been affected since the fire started.

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Stating that the fires spread rapidly across the region due to winds blowing at 64 to 96 kilometers per hour, officials said that many roads in the region were closed to traffic due to smoke that narrowed visibility.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced in a statement that he declared a "state of emergency" due to the wildfires that have been raging since February 26.