‘The State of Texas continues to monitor weather conditions conducive to wildfires’

Governor Abbott, TDEM activate additional state resources amid increased fire weather conditions across Texas

AUSTIN, Texas – On Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to activate additional state resources. This activation is in response to critical fire weather conditions across Texas heading into the weekend. The National Weather Service (NWS) warns that elevated fire conditions are possible on Thursday in areas of South Texas and the border region.

The Texas A&M Forest Service has activated three strike teams from Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS). These teams include nearly 75 firefighters and 15 fire engines. This increases the activated TIFMAS resources to six strike teams, including approximately 150 personnel and 30 fire engines. The Texas Military Department will also deploy two helicopters with firefighting capability and two more remain on standby.

Governor Abbott released the following statement

“The State of Texas continues to monitor weather conditions conducive to wildfires and remains fully prepared to respond to any potential fire activity,” said Governor Abbott. “Texans are encouraged to remain vigilant and weather-aware through this weekend. We are grateful to our firefighters and emergency response personnel for always heeding the call of duty and keeping our communities safe.”

The Texas A&M Forest Service expects wildfire activity to increase on Friday through Monday along and west of I-35 and into South Texas. Dormant vegetation continues to dry and become receptive to fire ignitions. Abundant, freeze-cured grasses observed in these regions have contributed to recent fire activity. It will, once again, play a factor in increased wildfire potential throughout the weekend. Wildfire potential will reach its peak west of I-35 on Sunday and Monday, as temperatures warm into the mid-70s and low 80s, coupled with increased wind speeds over dry, dormant vegetation.

The Texas A&M Forest Service has responded to 47 requests for assistance since Monday.

The assets activated on Thursday and are in addition to the following state resources previously readied earlier this week by the Texas A&M Forest Service:

  • Three strike teams from TIFMAS, including approximately 75 firefighters and 15 fire engines.
  • Texas A&M Forest Service has fully staffed task forces in communities across the state.
  • Additional operators and overhead, including incident commanders with advanced qualifications, are positioned across areas of concern.
  • Two large air tankers,
  • Three single engine air tankers,
  • Two types 3 helicopters,
  • Two air attack platforms,
  • and two aerial supervision modules are staged in the state to assist with wildfire response efforts.

Two Emergency Medical Task Force Wildland Fire Support Packages remain on standby to be deployed if necessary.

You can visit tfsweb.tamu.edu or ready.gov/wildfires for wildfire safety tips and resources.