Governor Greg Abbott on Friday directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to activate additional state firefighting resources in support of wildfire response efforts in North Texas.
Two Paris Fire Department members, Captain Connor Wideman and firefighter Logan Lane, deployed as part of the wildfire response.
“I am activating additional resources to help firefighters and other emergency personnel continue to respond to wildfire activity in North Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “Triple-digit heat in the region, and all across our state, continues to increase fire-prone conditions. As Texans gather to celebrate our nation’s independence this weekend, it is important that we remember many of our favorite Fourth of July traditions, such as lighting fireworks and grilling, could inadvertently cause sparks leading to accidental fires. Texans are urged to remain weather-aware and take precautions to keep their families, friends, and communities safe from wildfires.”
According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, the trend of triple-digit temperatures and limited rainfall causing dry vegetation will continue into the holiday weekend. Portions of the state with dry grasses may have increased potential for wildfire activity due to accidental ignitions caused by activities that may cause sparks, such as fireworks, over the holiday weekend.
At the direction of Governor Abbott, TDEM has activated the following additional state wildfire resources:
- Texas A&M Forest Service: Incident Management Teams, State firefighting personnel and heavy equipment such as bulldozers, three single engine air tankers, two Type 1 helicopters, an air attack platform, and 6 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) Strike Teams consisting of over 90 personnel and 30 fire engines
- Texas Division of Emergency Management: Activated state fuel disaster contracts
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission: Utilizing contracts for local ice and water needs
- Texas Department of State Health Services (Texas Emergency Medical Task Force): Wildland Fire Support Packages including paramedics, ambulances, and all-terrain vehicles
Additionally, the Texas A&M Forest Service is utilizing out-of-state aviation assets, including a Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT), large airtanker, air attack platform, and other aviation resources.
These resources were activated in addition to state wildfire response resourced deployed by TDEM at the Governor’s direction yesterday, bringing the total number of deployed firefighters to more than 120, fire engines to more than 40, and aircraft to eight.
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 urged to avoid activities that may cause sparks or flames, make an emergency plan, and keep emergency supplies easily accessible. Texans can visit texasready.gov and tfsweb.tamu.edu for wildfire tips and safety information.