AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to mobilize state resources as Texas faces increased fire weather conditions this week. The National Weather Service warns high winds and low relative humidity has created heightened risk for wildfires in the western half of the state.
According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, wildfire activity is forecast to increase along and west of I-35 and into South Texas through the weekend. An abundance of extremely dry dormant grasses and intensifying drought may produce large fires that are difficult to control when exposed to periods of elevated to critical fire weather.
“The State of Texas remains ready to fully support local partners and communities that could be impacted by wildfires this week,” said Governor Abbott. “As we continue to monitor the weather and collaborate with personnel on the ground, Texans are encouraged to be mindful of fire-prone weather conditions and practice wildfire safety to keep their loved ones safe.”
The following resources have been readied by the Texas A&M Forest Service: six strike teams from the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) that include approximately 150 firefighters and 30 fire engines. The Texas A&M Forest Service has fully staffed task forces across the state with additional personnel and equipment for support. Fireline supervisors, command staff, and incident commanders with advanced qualifications are strategically placed across the state to respond. Aviation resources are also prepositioned across the state for a quick and effective response and include two large airtankers, 12 single engine air tankers, four air attack platforms, three type 1 helicopters, two type 3 helicopters and one aerial supervision module are currently staged in state for wildfire response.
Four Texas Emergency Medical Task Force (TX EMTF) Wildland Fire Support packages and two Rapid Extraction Modules (REMs) are on standby to be deployed if necessary.