AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) was directed by Governor Greg Abbott today to get wildfire response resources ready ahead of elevated conditions for critical wildfire danger in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.
The resources TDEM is preparing will be used to support local officials' response to wildfire if they exceed local response capabilities.
Elevated critical fire weather is in the forecast for the Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas Wednesday, Dec. 22 through Sunday, Dec. 26, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. Increased wildfire activity during this time has the potential to be supported by critical weather and dry to critically dry fuels.
Friday, Dec. 24 will be the day with the highest potential for wildfire activity as strong winds, above normal temperatures, and low humidity will align with dry fuel.
"Texas is fully prepared to respond to any potential wildfire activity that could occur this week across our state," said Abbott. "We will continue to monitor weather conditions and encourage Texans to heed the guidance of their local officials, and we thank our firefighters and emergency response personnel who are working away from their families this Christmas season to keep our communities safe."
The following resources have been deployed by the Texas A&M Forest Service: 6 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike teams, including 82 firefighters and 25 fire engines; one fire suppression module, including 7 personnel; two large air tankers; three Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATS); and one air attack aerial supervision aircraft.
An additional 118 firefighters and an Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) Wildland Support Unit are on standby to be deployed if necessary.
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