AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that additional state resources have been mobilized to assist in battling wildfires across the state.
This comes as Potter and Randall counties, along with a number of counties located in the Texas Panhandle, are currently under two disaster declarations at the state level: the wildfire-related disaster declaration from July and the drought disaster declaration from August.
Officials said due to increased fire potential because of “excessively dry” conditions, Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to deploy the resources in collaboration with the Texas A&M Forest Service.
“Communities across the state continue to be impacted by dangerously dry conditions that could lead to further spread of wildfires,” Abbott said in the release. “The State of Texas is working day and night to provide the resources needed to help support those affected by wildfires. To ensure the safety of all Texans and their loved ones, I strongly urge everyone to remain vigilant and heed the guidance of local officials to prevent the spread of wildfires.”
Through this activation, two strike teams from the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, consisting of 32 firefighters and 10 engines, were mobilized today. Other resources deployed also include 300 firefighters from the Texas A&M Forest Service, more than 600 out-of-state personnel and more than 30 firefighting aircraft.
Officials are encouraging Texas residents to use “extreme caution during heightened fire conditions,” including:
- Postponing outdoor burning until conditions improve and always checking for local burn bans and other restrictions
- Avoiding parking and idling in tall, dry grass, as catalytic converters can get hot enough to ignite the grass under a vehicle
- Avoiding setting hot chainsaws or other hot, gas-powered equipment on dry grass
- When pulling a trailer, attach safety chains securely, as loose chains can drag on the pavement and cause sparks that could ignite roadside fires.
For more information, visit the Texas Department of Emergency Management website.