Abbott is deploying additional state wildfire resources in anticipation of the fire threat in West Texas

May 7—AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to deploy additional state emergency resources in light of increased wildfire danger in the Panhandle and West Texas.

“In the wake of the largest wildfire in our state’s history, Texas stands ready to provide all available resources to assist firefighters and local officials and protect Texas communities,” Abbott said in a news release. “As dangerous wildfires continue across the Panhandle and West Texas, Texans are encouraged to remain vigilant, regularly monitor weather conditions and take necessary precautions in anticipation of potential wildfires impacting their communities. I thank our brave firefighters and emergency response personnel who continue to serve and protect their fellow Texans.”

The National Weather Service is predicting increased to critical wildfires in far west Texas and the Panhandle by mid-week. According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, the potential for wildfire will be concentrated in the western Canadian River drainage near Dumas and Amarillo, as well as in far western Texas near Fort Davis and Alpine on Tuesday and Wednesday, when dry grasses will be exposed to increased and critical fire brigade. . In addition, a fire may present moderate extinguishing difficulties in the western Canadian River drainage, where there is an above-normal grass load.

At the Governor’s direction, TDEM has activated the following state emergency resources in support of wildfire suppression operations:

– Texas A&M Forest Service: more than 100 firefighters in and out of state; heavy equipment such as bulldozers and motor graders; Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike teams consisting of more than 50 personnel and more than 20 fire engines; more than a dozen firefighting aircraft, including large tankers, single-engine tankers, aerial surveillance modules and air attack platforms

— Texas Division of Emergency Management: emergency response personnel to support requests for assistance from local officials

– Texas Department of State Health Service (Texas Emergency Medical Task Force): Wildland Fire Support packages including paramedics and ambulances

The following state emergency resources have been placed on standby for activation if conditions require:

— Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: disaster assessment and recovery agents, as well as AgriLife Extension Agents to support agricultural and livestock production needs

— Texas Department of Transportation: Personnel and equipment to assist with road closures and fuel for firefighting support

– Texas Department of Public Safety: Texas Highway Patrol Troopers to assist with road closures and traffic control

— Texas National Guard: helicopters with firefighting capabilities

— Texas Parks and Wildlife: Game Wardens to support local law enforcement

— Texas Animal Health Commission: Personnel providing support to livestock

— Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: air/water/wastewater monitoring

Texans are urged to proactively prepare for wildfire hazards by limiting activities that create sparks or flames, developing an emergency plan and keeping emergency supplies easily accessible. Texans can visit and for wildfire tips and safety information.