Why Houston’s wildfire team is prepping for a West Texas blaze – Chron

A cadre of Houston firefighters are joining hundreds throughout the Lone Star State to prep for potentially dangerous wildfire weather this week in west Texas. 

Gusty winds and dry air will combine to create an elevated threat of uncontrollable wildfires in the Texas Panhandle and South Plains as a weather system moves across the state. In preparation for potential fires, Gov. Greg Abbott deployed a portion of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) to stage in Lubbock ahead of the threat. 

The deployment includes 50 firefighters, 10 fire engines, three air tankers and an air attack supervision aircraft. More resources are ready to be deployed if needed, according to Abbott’s office. 

“We will continue to coordinate with local partners and monitor fire conditions to ensure resources are readily available,” Abbott said in a statement. “I encourage Texans to heed the guidance of local officials and take proper precautions ahead of potential fires.” 

Several Houston-area crews have made their way west already. That includes four firefighters from the Houston Fire Department’s wild land team and three firefighters from the Conroe Fire Department. Both are members of TIFMAS, which is deployed from time to time as a shared state resource. Departments that are members of TIFMAS receive special equipment and training that can be used for everyday firefighting but can be called into action elsewhere at a moment’s notice. 

The threat of wildfires could last through the weekend, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. A recent dry spell in that part of the state along with an abundance of dry, dead vegetation is also fueling the danger. 

On Thursday, a 67-acre wildfire cropped up in Taylor County which has since been contained. There’s been no other reported wildfire activity in that part of the state since the recent threat began, according to the forest service. 

Source: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/panhandle-wildfire-firefighters-greg-abbott-16690999.php

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