This past week, more than 180 major wildfires have destroyed areas of rain-starved Texas, destroying more than 1000 homes and resulting in several deaths. Members of the Houston Fire Department are also feeling the impact of the drought conditions, with more than 100 fires since the beginning of September, compared to less than 10 during the same time period last year.
Although we are experiencing such a drastic increase of grass and woodland fires, our firefighters continue to act with courage, commitment and compassion to ensure that the homes and lives of Houstonians are protected.
Woods and timber areas are very difficult to obtain access to, and require a large number of personnel on foot to fight such fires. HFD also utilizes “Boosters” or ‘grass trucks’, to give us the ability to reach remote areas.
In addition to protecting the citizens of Houston, the HFD has provided mutual aid to various departments surrounding the city, responding to at least 8 incidents this past holiday weekend.
Eight members of the Houston Fire Department are being deployed through Texas Task Force 1(TX-TF 1) to assist with the fires in Bastrop County. TX-TF 1 is one of 28 National Urban Search and Rescue teams in the nation which FEMA coordinates. Additional information about TX-TF1 and media contact may be found at http://usar.tamu.edu/
The Houston Fire Department encourages all citizens to be very cautious when around grass and woodland areas, this includes any area with grass, trees and other vegetation to help us insure that no Houstonians lose their homes or lives to grass or woodland fires.