Editor’s Note: The following is a press release from the office of Gov. Greg Abbott.
AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to ready and activate resources ahead of elevated conditions for fire danger in the Texas Panhandle and South Plains. These resources will support local officials’ response to wildfires if fires exceed local capabilities.
The Texas A&M Forest Service warns that wildfire-prone conditions caused by underlying drought aligned with dryness, increased wind speeds, freeze cured grasses, an abundance of vegetation on the landscape, and elevated to critical fire weather are expected to become progressively more hazardous in the Panhandle and South Plains beginning Thursday, December 9th through Friday, December 10th and potentially through the weekend.
“The State of Texas is fully prepared to assist communities in the Panhandle and South Plains that are at risk of potential wildfire activity this week,” said Governor Abbott. “We will continue to coordinate with local partners and monitor fire conditions to ensure resources are readily available, and I encourage Texans to heed the guidance of local officials and take proper precautions ahead of potential fires.”
The following resources were deployed through the Texas A&M Forest Service: two Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike teams, including 50 firefighting personnel and 10 fire engines; three Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATS); and one air attack aerial supervision aircraft. The following resources have also been readied to be deployed if necessary: six Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike teams with 150 personnel and 30 fire engines.
Texans can visit www.ready.gov/wildfires for wildfire resources and safety tips.