Firefighters put out hot spots on a grass fire off Foster School Road near Needville Texas on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. Firefighters gained ground Wednesday against one of the most destructive wildfires in Texas history even as the number of homes lost reached almost 800, and an elite search team set out to find any victims in the smoking ruins. (AP Photo/The Courier, Patric Schneider)
Emergency management officials say some volunteer firefighters eager to help battle Texas wildfires have been turned away due to lack of training or no equipment.
The Austin American-Statesman reports the volunteers were not allowed to help with Bastrop County wildfires that have blazed all week, destroying hundreds of homes. Specific numbers on the number of volunteers turned away were not immediately available.
County emergency management director Mike Fisher said Thursday that authorities had no choice but to say no to the volunteers if they weren't properly qualified or trained and had no equipment. Fisher says officials didn't want any volunteers to get hurt.
He says firefighters who were brought in from Texas and across the country were organized and sent to specific areas based on their training and equipment.