We've seen the devastation that the wildfires in the Texas Panhandle have caused over the last several days. Over 850,000 acres have burned in the Smokehouse Creek Fire making it the second largest wildfire in Texas history.

The worst part is, it's still burning, is only 3 percent contained, and when all is said and done, there's a good chance it'll become the largest wildfire in Texas history. That currently belongs to the East Amarillo Complex wildfire that burned a touch over 907.000 acres back in 2006.

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The land in the panhandle is DRY right now as evidenced by all the different wildfires that have broken out, and the snow we got this morning (February 29) will only provide a little bit of relief for the fires, and do essentially nothing to help gain moisture into the ground.

That keeps conditions ripe for these wildfires to begin at any given time, and we all know how windy the panhandle is. Warmer temperatures are coming, and those two things mixed with that screams danger.

Now, we have another issue we get to throw into the mix.

The Texas Water Development Board has announced that drought conditions across the state have worsened for the first time in five weeks. That's about the last thing we needed to hear with all these fires raging at the moment.

There is a little bit of good news to take away from the report though. For the first time in over 23 years, Amarillo water supply reservoirs are in better shape than Austin, so that's a win right now.

The other piece of good news we got was that the drought coverage across the state is hovering around the lowest levels it's been at since 2021.

Back to the bad news. All of Randall County and the majority of Potter County have been labeled as abnormally dry according to the most current report from U.S. Drought Monitor, and with the fires we've been seeing so close to us, that's not inviting news.

The hope is that things get better and we can reverse the trend. We need more moisture here in the panhandle, or it could be a very long fire season.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

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