WILBARGER COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A firefighter with the Texas A&M Forest Service has been released from the hospital after suffering injuries while working to extinguish the now 25,000 acre Coconut Fire.
According to officials with the Texas A&M Forest Service, one firefighter was injured and received burns from radiant heat on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Officials said the firefighter was hospitalized from his injuries, where the firefighter was treated and released.
“Our thoughts are with the injured firefighter. Wildland firefighting is an inherently dangerous job and incidents such as this highlight that,” Emily Wall, Texas A&M Forest Service Chief Operating Officer of Forest Resource Protection said. “The priority for Texas A&M Forest Service has been, and will always be, life safety of both the public and first responders.”
According to officials, a downburst from a thunderstorm that developed near the fire area caused the fire to erupt due to erratic winds that caused a sudden change in fire behavior.
The Coconut Fire is estimated to have burned about 25,000 acres and is 20% contained as of 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 19.
Firefighters continue to battle the blaze in Wilbarger County, which is exhibiting extreme behavior due to hot, dry conditions and increased winds.
Texas A&M Forest Service is monitoring the current situation closely and has positioned personnel and equipment across the state for a quick and effective response to any requests for assistance.
Fully staffed task forces and additional suppression equipment are staged across the state, officials said.
Additionally, 123 personnel from other states are currently in Texas to support wildfire response efforts.
Aircraft were heavily utilized yesterday to support suppression efforts on the ground, aiding in the protection of structures and other valuable resources.
Twenty aviation resources are currently staged in state, including two large air tankers, 12 single engine air tankers, three air attack platforms, two type 1 helicopters and one type 3 helicopter.
To check the current fire situation, visit the Texas A&M Forest Service website.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as they become available.