Abbott Sends Wildfire Aid to Southern States

Texas A&M Forest Service | Image by Texas A&M Forest Service/Twitter

While the wildfire risk in Texas has diminished recently, neighboring states are still battling dangerous wildfire conditions, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to offer assistance.

“Our nation is stronger when our states come together in times of need,” Abbott said, per a news release from the governor’s office. “I deployed personnel and resources from the Texas A&M Forest Service to help keep our southern neighbors in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi safe from dangerous wildfires.”

These resources include 13 wildland firefighters, two tractor plows, one bulldozer, and one Type 6 wildland fire engine, according to the release.

In addition, Abbott suggested that Texas could supply additional aid if warranted.

“Texas stands ready to send additional support to impacted communities as needed to help protect our fellow Americans,” Abbott said.

More than 21,600 wildfires have burned more than a half-million acres across the southeastern United States this year, according to the release.

Earlier this year, Texas faced a number of large wildfires, prompting Abbott to issue a disaster declaration in August. The declaration allowed him to amp up state resources and assistance to 191 Texas counties experiencing wildfire conditions, as reported by The Dallas Express.

However, on October 9, the State of Texas shifted to Wildland Fire Preparedness Level 1, the lowest on a scale of 1 to 5, “due to continued rainfall and a significant decrease in wildfire activity across the state,” per the news release. As of November 10, there are no active wildfires in the state.

Still, 80 counties in Texas remain under a burn ban, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The National Weather Service (NWS) reminded the public to practice fire safety.

“Even if a formal ban is not in effect for your area, it is still important to be vigilant about fire usage,” said NWS on its website. “Avoid open flames near dry vegetation, and assure all coals and embers are fully extinguished.” 

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