Abbott deploys additional state wildfire resources ahead of West Texas fire threat

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

“Following 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 wildfire threats continue in the Panhandle and West Texas, Texans are encouraged to remain vigilant, regularly monitor weather conditions, and take necessary precautions ahead 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 forecasting elevated-to-critical wildfire conditions in far West Texas and the Panhandle through the middle of the week. According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, wildfire potential will be focused in the western Canadian River drainage near Dumas and Amarillo, as well as far West Texas near Fort Davis and Alpine Tuesday and Wednesday when dry grasses will be exposed to elevated and critical fire weather. Additionally, a fire could exhibit moderate suppression difficulty in the western Canadian River drainage where above normal grass loading is present.

At the Governor’s direction, TDEM has activated the following state emergency response resources to support wildfire response operations:

  • Texas A&M Forest Service: More than 100 state and out-of-state firefighters; heavy equipment such as bulldozers and motor graders; Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike teams comprised of over 50 personnel and more than 20 fire engines; more than a dozen firefighting aircraft including large airtankers, single engine airtankers, aerial supervision 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 response resources have been placed on standby for activation as conditions warrant:

  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Disaster Assessment and Recovery Agents as well as AgriLife Extension Agents to support agricultural and livestock 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 capability
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife: Game Wardens to support local law enforcement
  • Texas Animal Health Commission: Personnel to provide livestock support
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Air/water/wastewater monitoring

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