Wichita Falls Fire Dept. crew heading to California

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OJAI, CA – DECEMBER 09: Firefighters use drip torches to set a backfire at night in an effort to make progress against the Thomas Fire before the winds return with the daylight near Lake Casitas on December 9, 2017 near Ojai, California. Strong Santa Ana winds have been feeding major wildfires all week, destroying hundreds […]

A dozen Wichita Falls firefighters are headed to California to help out with the state’s wildfire outbreak. 

The move comes after Governor Greg Abbott announced that about 200 firefighters with 55 fire engines from local departments across the Lone Star State will be headed to California to help fight wildfires.

Fire Chief Jon Reese says 12 firefighters and 4 pieces of equipment are participating in the relief effort.

Teams from the Texas Forest Service at Texas A&M will also begin deploying to California Monday morning.

“When disaster strikes, it is imperative that the call for help is answered, and that is exactly what these men and women serving in fire departments across Texas are doing,” Governor Abbott said. “As California continues to fight these fires, Texas will be sending its bravest firefighters to aid in their efforts. Our prayers go out to all who have been impacted by these devastating wildfires, and the State of Texas will continue to offer any resources to aid in the recovery process.”

– Governor  Greg Abbott

At least 25 people have died in two of the fires.

The Camp Fire in Northern California — the most destructive fire in state history and the third-deadliest — has killed at least 23, left 110 missing and destroyed thousands of homes and structures.

At least two have died in Southern California’s Woolsey fire, and hundreds of thousands of residents have been displaced.

At least six firefighters have been injured in both blazes, according to CalFire.

Saturday saw a brief reprieve in the fierce winds fueling the fires, and firefighters hoped to use the break to their advantage.

Read more about the fires here.

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