High to extreme wildfire danger is forecasted yet again for the Texas Panhandle, which means agencies like the Texas A&M Forest Service are in constant fire prep mode.
Since Friday, they said they have responded to 11 wildfires across the state which affected more than 10,000 acres, and about half a dozen of those fires have been in our area.
We all remember how intense Friday was for wildfires on the High Plains. It was especially so for crews with the Texas A&M Forest Service.
They started that day reporting a wildfire north of Skellytown in Carson County. Then they were standing by in White Deer in case they were needed. Several minutes later, they responded to another wildfire in Hutchinson County, better known as the Airport Fire.
Officials said flexibility is key when it comes to extremely critical fire weather days like Friday and beyond.
“We’re pretty much always ready to go,” said Texas A&M Forest Service PIO Samuel McCalip. “It depends on what you are. So as a PIO, prep’s going to be different than the dozer operator, then the engine operator. But making sure all your equipment is ready to go and you having a plan of attack in place.”
McCalip told us crews from all across the state and some out of state are in town to pre-position and plan for these fires.
Troy Ducheneaux, the Fire Marshall with the Randall County Fire Department said about 25 to 30 personnel with the Texas A&M Forest Service was sent to them to assist on fires.
McCalip tells us throughout the year they are always training for these types of fire events in many different types of capacities, from learning how to man the airplane base, to driving the bulldozers and mapping the fires.