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Governor Abbott, TDEM launch additional state resources in response to fire weather conditions across Texas

Texas rural fire
Posted at 4:31 PM, Feb 17, 2022

AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott advised the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to activate additional state resources amid critical fire weather conditions across Texas.

The National Weather Service (NWS) wants to warn Texans that fire conditions are worsening in areas across South Texas and the border region.

The Texas A&M Forest Service has deployed three strike teams from Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) that include roughly 75 firefighters and 15 fire engines.

According to a release, this gives TIFMAS more resources, including 6 strike teams with approximately 150 personnel and 30 fire engines.

The Texas Military Department will also deploy two helicopters with firefighting capabilities, and state officials say two more helicopters are on standby.

"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.

Experts attribute large amounts of freeze-cured grasses in these regions to have contributed to the recent fire activity across South Texas.

"Wildfire potential will be the greatest west of I-35 Sunday and Monday as temperatures warm into the mid-70s and low 80s coupled with increased wind speeds over dry, dormant vegetation," said state officials.

The Texas A&M Forest Service has responded to roughly 47 fires just this week alone.

"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," said Abbott.

Texans can visit tfsweb.tamu.edu [lnks.gd] or ready.gov/wildfires [lnks.gd] for wildfire safety tips and additional resources.