Xcel Energy says its facilities appeared to have role in igniting largest wildfire in Texas history

March 07, 2024

The utility provider Xcel Energy said Thursday that its facilities appeared to have played a role in igniting a massive wildfire in the Texas Panhandle that grew to the largest blaze in state history. The Smokehouse Creek fire burned nearly 1,700 square miles (4,400 square kilometers) and destroyed hundreds of structures. “Based on currently available information, Xcel Energy acknowledges that its facilities appear to have been involved in an ignition of the Smokehouse Creek fire,” the company said in a statement. Xcel Energy said it did not believe its facilities were responsible for the Windy Deuce fire. Electric utilities have taken responsibility for wildfires around the U.S., including fallen power lines that started a blaze in Maui last year.