Galveston Fire Fighters Volunteer to Fight Wildfires in North Texas
Galveston Sending Manpower and Resources to Possum Kingdom Area
(Galveston, TX) – Some of Galveston’s finest arrived in north Texas this morning to help fight wildfires in Possum Kingdom. Two Island fire fighters and a Type VI Engine brush truck left last night on a 10 day deployment to assist with the State’s efforts to contain the Palo Pinto fire that has already consumed 6,200 acres. Additional crews are being prepared. Galveston fire fighters are part of nine strike teams that have formed to help contain this wildfire.
“We are prepared to render aid to another Texas community in crisis,” stated Galveston Fire Chief Jeff Smith. “These voluntary teams answered Galveston’s call for help post Hurricane Ike,” Smith added. “In a way we are just returning the favor.”
Galveston fire fighters have been deployed to provide structural support to the 400 homes in the path of the fire and to assist with securing safe passage for evacuees and other strike teams. The situation in North Texas is critical as 39 homes burned yesterday, 400 homes were evacuated last night, and many more remain in the path of the wildfire. This statewide effort is led by the Texas Forest Service.
The Galveston Fire Department participates in a coalition of local fire departments that voluntarily respond to emergencies called TIFMAS (Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System) maintained by Texas Forest Service. The program includes training, qualification and mobilization systems to make statewide use of local resources. The program was first used during Hurricane Ike, and has since been used in response to several incidents. TIFMAS, a product of Senate Bill 11 enacted in 2007, does not require departments to send resources to incidents; it is a voluntary process. The State reimburses the City for costs of the deployment.