‘The State of Texas is fully prepared to assist communities in the Panhandle and South Plains’

Governor Abbott, TDEM deploy wildfire response resources in Panhandle, South Plains

AUSTIN, Texas – On Wednesday, Dec. 9, Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to prepare and activate resources ahead of elevated conditions for fire danger in the Texas Panhandle and South Plains. These resources will help support local officials’ response to wildfires if fires exhaust local capabilities.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, 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 progress. Beginning Thursday, Dec. 9 through Friday, Dec. 10, and potentially through the weekend, fires are expected to become more hazardous in the Panhandle and South Plains.

“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 were also readied for deployment if necessary:

  • six Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike teams, with 150 personnel and 30 fire engines.

You can visit www.ready.gov/wildfires for wildfire resources and safety tips.