Governor Abbott mobilizes state wildfire resources across West Texas
AUSTIN, Texas (KOSA) - Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to mobilize state firefighting resources to support local officials in preparation for wildfire potential in the Panhandle, South Plains, Permian Basin, and West Texas.
“Critical fire resources are being mobilized in the western half of the state to help our local officials respond to dangerous wildfire risks impacting Texas communities,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank all of our firefighters and emergency responders who are working on the frontlines to protect their fellow Texans from these fires. Beginning today through early next week, Texans are urged to regularly monitor fire weather conditions and limit activities that could cause sparks or flames to keep themselves, their loved ones, and their property out of harm’s way.”
The Texas A&M Forest Service warns of increased wildfire danger beginning today and extending into early next week. Fire risk associated with two forecasted cold fronts will impact areas of the western plains, where the presence of dry, dead grass increases wildfire danger. Fire weather conditions are forecast in the Panhandle, South Plains, and Permian Basin regions today, with the risk of expanding to include Wichita Falls, Abilene, and San Angelo into the weekend. Additionally, TDEM and the Texas Emergency Management Council are monitoring severe weather threats in North Texas today and East Texas tomorrow. Risks include large hail, strong winds, and possible tornadoes.
At the Governor’s direction, the following resources have been activated by TDEM:
- Texas A&M Forest Service: Three Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike teams comprised of approximately 50 firefighters and 15 fire engines, seven single engine air tankers, two air attack platforms, and heavy equipment such as bulldozers
TDEM has also readied the following state resources for activation as needed:
- Texas Department of State Health Services — Texas Emergency Medical Task Force: Wildland Fire Support Package including paramedics and an ambulance, and one Rapid Extraction Module including paramedics and all-terrain vehicles
The Wildland Fire Preparedness Level remains at Preparedness Level 2 due to fuel and weather conditions, current and expected wildfire activity, regional preparedness levels, and fire-suppression resource availability in the state.
Texans are encouraged to limit activities that may cause sparks or flames, make an emergency plan, and keep emergency supplies easily accessible.
Texans can visit texasready.gov for wildfire safety information. For severe weather tips, visit ready.gov/severe-weather.
Copyright 2023 KOSA. All rights reserved.