Texas A&M Forest Service fires are resources mobilized as wildfire activity is expected to increase through the weekend – The Gilmer Mirror

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Wildfire activity is expected to increase along and west of I-35 and in southern Texas through the weekend.

An abundance of extremely dry dormant grasses and intensifying drought can produce large, difficult-to-control wildfires when exposed to periods of high to critical fire weather.

Since Saturday, state and local resources have responded to 70 wildfires that have burned 15,274 acres across the state.

The Texas A&M Forest Service is closely monitoring the current situation and has pre-positioned personnel and equipment in areas of concern.

“Underlying dry conditions combined with winds associated with cold front passages have supported increased wildfire activity across the state this week,” said Texas A&M Fire Chief Wes Moorehead. Forest Service. “Conditions are not expected to improve over the weekend, and the agency has strategically placed fire resources throughout the state for a quick and effective response.”

Fully staffed task forces and additional suppression equipment are held at Alice, Amarillo, Beeville, Brownwood, Burkburnett, Childress, Edinburg, Fort Stockton, Fredericksburg, Lubbock, McGregor, Merkel, Mineral Wells, Pleasanton, San Angelo, Smithville and Victoria.

Additionally, line of fire supervisors, command personnel, and incident commanders with advanced qualifications are strategically placed across the state to respond.

Aviation assets currently deployed in the state include two large air tankers, 12 single-engine air tankers, four air attack platforms, three type 1 helicopters, two type 3 helicopters and an air supervision module are currently being set up in the state for wildfire response.

During periods of high fire activity, aviation resources are used to support ground suppression efforts, helping to protect structures and other valuable assets. The aircraft responded to eight wildfires in the past week, assisting ground crews with a total of 66,000 gallons of water and retardant to slow the progress of the fires.

The Texas A&M Forest Service requested the mobilization of six response teams through the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) for wildfire support.

Stay aware of wildfires. If a forest fire is spotted, contact local authorities immediately. A quick response can help save lives and property.

For current wildfire conditions and outlook, visit the Texas Fire Potential Outlook https://bit.ly/3kemhbG.

The Texas A&M Forest Service does not own any aviation resources, but instead uses federal aviation contracts through the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management for all firefighting aircraft.

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