“More than a million acres have burned. And we are in winter, and this is the largest fire in Texas history,” Mayorkas said during a CNN interview. “We, as a country and as a world, have to be ready for the increasing effects of extreme weather caused by climate change. It’s a remarkable phenomenon, and it will manifest itself in the days to come, and we have to prepare for it now.”

The National Weather Service on Sunday issued red flag warnings — signifying extreme fire risk due to warm temperatures, low humidity and strong winds — across much of the central U.S., including Texas and its neighboring states of New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Red flag warnings also covered nearly all of Nebraska and Iowa, along with large swaths of Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota. Smaller portions of Colorado, Wyoming, Minnesota and Illinois also were under red flag warnings.

Strong winds spread the flames, prompting an evacuation order to be issued in Sanford, a Texas town of a little more than 100 residents, according to a post by the Amarillo office of the National Weather Service on X, formerly Twitter.

As firefighters fought the unprecedented wildfires, humanitarian organizations pivoted to victims who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Residents began clearing affected property on Saturday and by Sunday the extent of the loss began mounting.

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