Volunteers Deliver Blessings Bags as Wildfires Continue to Burn in Texas Panhandle

Mar 4, 2024 | by Philip Burn

Dallas, Texas (March 4, 2024) – As dangerous wildfires continue to burn and spread rapidly in the Texas panhandle, volunteers and staff from The Salvation Army Service Units in Pampa and Borger are actively serving firefighters, first responders and survivors in Gray, Carson, Roberts and Hutchinson Counties.


Numerous wildfires continue to threaten several counties even though snow fell in the area on Thursday. Critical fire weather increased over the weekend due to warmer temperatures and increased wind gusts. The Smokehouse Creek Fire, now the largest blaze in Texas state history, has burned more than 1.75 million acres since starting a week ago and remains only 15% contained. A cold front moving into the area on Monday is hoped to provide some respite and opportunity for firefighters to contain the fires. Damage assessments are ongoing, and it is estimated that more than 400 structures have been affected or destroyed, along with the tragic loss of tens of thousands of cattle.


The Salvation Army Service Units of Borger and Pampa continue to support first responders and those impacted in the community with meals, hydration, and relief supplies. Both Salvation Army locations are accepting and managing local in-kind donations while collaborating closely with city and county officials, businesses, and community partners. Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services teams in Amarillo and Lubbock remain on standby.


“The Salvation Army continues to support agencies and firefighters from across the state and beyond responding to multiple wildfires,” said Jimmy Stanford, Emergency Service Manager with The Salvation Army. “We will continue to serve as needed and will be here to support families as it becomes safe for them to return to their homes.”


Volunteers in Pampa have been collecting specific items to assemble Blessings Bags for distribution to firefighters. Each drawstring bag contains a selection of snacks including crackers, cookies, jerky, pickle pops to help with rehydration and relieve cramps, plus two bottles of water. Hygiene items to benefit the firefighters working in incredibly challenging conditions are also provided; baby wipes, eye drops, ChapStick, pain killers, lens cleaning wipes, baby powder and DripDrop powder.


“The Salvation Army team is continuing to receive items and is putting together more Blessings Bags,” said Shelby Huff, with The Salvation Army, who lives in Pampa, a community impacted by the wildfires. “We have received incredible practical support from businesses and individuals in our community including donations of pallets of Gatorade, Powerade and water, financial donations, and one company has even set up an Amazon registry link where employees can purchase specific items for the Blessings Bags to be delivered directly to The Salvation Army. Thank you to everyone who is supporting the ongoing relief efforts as we work to help and encourage the first responders, firefighters and those affected by the fires.”


As of Monday, March 4, The Salvation Army has provided 1,410 meals, 2,080 drinks, 2,192 snacks, 138 Blessing Bags, and seven Thrift Store vouchers.


To make a financial donation to support the Texas wildfire relief go to helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. For more information on The Salvation Army’s current disaster response efforts go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.





About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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