Fire crews collaborate to cover state’s wildfires

State & Regional

LLANO COUNTY, Texas (Nexstar) — With at least half-a-dozen wildfires burning across Texas, fire crews enacted their statewide plan to ensure the first-responders do not get burned on the back end.
High heat and low humidity proving tough for firefighters as they took to the skies for an aerial attack on the 1,200 acres burning in Llano County. Wildfires from the Panhandle to Texoma, through Central Texas force agencies to call for back up.
“With a lot of fires going on in Texas as well as nationally, resources can come pretty scarce,” Texas A&M Forest Service’s Jake Gosschalk said. Forty different agencies responded to the 308 Fire in Llano County alone, officials said Friday.
An established system between departments and regional and state agencies streamlines the communication process and makes sure not to overload the strain on crews and equipment.
Kari Hines, Wildland Urban Interface Specialist with the Forest Service, said sometimes crews will travel from other states, and even neighboring countries to assist. The Texas firefighters return the favor when the state has wetter years or when there is enough staff to backfill.
Hines and Gosschalk urged Texans to be careful with the mix of hot weather, low humidity and dry conditions.
“Fire prevention is something everybody should always be concerned about,” Hines said. “Anything that can produce a spark, we’re talking machinery, we’re talking welding, we’re talking chains dragging, barbecue grills, any machinery, shredding…”
“Majority of [fire] starts are debris burning and roadside starts,” Gosschalk said. “So, getting citizens of Texas to check out burn bans… not burning your burn piles when it’s 104 degrees and 20 percent relative humidity and fairly high winds is key to keeping wildfires at bay.” 

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