2024-panhandle-fires
Photo from 2022 when fires burned more than 45,000 acres in Eastland County, Texas. • Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Forest Service.

Animal Movement Emergency Waivers Offered Amidst 2024 Texas Panhandle Wildfires

As the Texas Panhandle Wildfires continue to be battled over the first weekend in March, windy conditions could expand the largest wildfire in Texas history. Click here for more information on relief resources being coordinated by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service on March 1, “the Smokehouse Creek Fire in Hutchinson County is an estimated 1,078,086 acres and 15% contained. With conditions yesterday (February 29), there was no fire growth. Increase in acreage due to more accurate mapping and this is subject to change.”

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) coordinated with the state veterinarian offices in Oklahoma and New Mexico to facilitate a waiver of animal movement documentation for livestock producers, amidst the 2024 Texas Panhandle wildfire situation.

Animal owners or producers conducting emergency evacuation of livestock animals to neighboring states should call the TAHC program records department, 512-719-0777, to register animal movement across state lines. Throughout this emergency situation, resources to gain proper documentation may not be available, and the safety of those involved is the top priority. Please call and provide as much of the following information in order to help ensure a swift and secure process crossing state borders.

Producer

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number

Livestock

  • Species
  • Number of head

Movement Information

  • Date of movement
  • Origin address
  • Destination information
  • Destination owner name and contact number, if possible
  • Destination address

Easing the burden of those affected by the fires are at the forefront of these efforts. The generous support and understanding from surrounding state animal health officials is greatly appreciated. Please call the TAHC, 512-719-0700, with any questions regarding this process, and visit the TAHC website for additional resources and information related to animal response during the panhandle wildfires.