With the largest wildfire in Texas history now 89 percent contained, and others no longer posing a threat, state Speaker of the House Dade Phelan has announced the formation of a special investigative committee that will be charged with learning the cause of these fires and how effective dedicated resources provided are in bringing them under control.

This announcement comes as lawsuits are already being filed against Xcel Energy and some of its subsidiaries. Xcel has already confirmed its services may have played a role in the ignition of these fires. 

Speaker Phelan said Tuesday it is imperative that the causes and response to the fires such as the Smoke House Creek fire be fully investigated and examined to prevent and produce the best response in the future.

He appointed the following members to serve on the Panhandle Wildfires investigative Committee:

  • Representative Ken King, Chair
  • Representative Dustin Burrows
  • Representative Todd Hunter
  • Jason Abraham, Public Member
  • Ashley Cash, Public Member

Results of their findings are expected to be submitted by May 1, 2024.