AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to ready resources in response to increased fire weather conditions across the state this weekend. The Texas A&M Forest Service warns that elevated to critical fire weather is forecast for West Texas, South Plains, Big Country, Permian Basin, Big Bend, and the border region through the end of the week.
The Texas A&M Forest Service is forecasting increased fire danger Saturday for areas along and west of Interstate-35. Saturday’s fire environment will be dominated by very strong north winds following an early morning cold front. The combination of strong winds over a landscape covered in freeze-cured grasses will support increased wildfire activity. Cool temperatures, however, should keep the potential for significant wildfires low.
“Additional resources have been readied ahead of elevated critical fire weather conditions across our state and Texas is fully prepared to address any potential wildfires in the coming days,” said Governor Abbott. “As we continue to monitor the weather and communicate with local partners, Texans are encouraged to follow the guidance of their community officials and other emergency response personnel.”
The following resources have been deployed by the Texas A&M Forest Service: 2 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike teams, including 33 firefighters and 10 fire engines; two large air tankers; three Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATS); and two air attack aerial supervision aircrafts and a lead plane. Additionally, 19 dozers, 4 engines and 11 incident commanders from Texas A&M Forest Service are prepositioned in areas of concern should they be needed and two Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) Wildland Support Units are on standby to be deployed if necessary.
Texans can visit ready.gov/wildfires or tfsweb.tamu.edu for wildfire safety tips and resources.