North Texas

North Texas Firefighters Being Deployed to Fight California Wildfires

A total of 97 firefighters from across Texas are being deployed to California

Nearly 100 Texas firefighters from 29 departments in 20 counties are headed to California this weekn to help fight deadly wildfires that have killed nine, consumed more than 750,000 acres and incinerated 1,200 homes.

Upon an emergency request from California, the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System will deploy and send 25 fire engines with five strike teams to the 290,692-acre Mendocino Complex, the largest wildfire in California history.

“It’s about neighbors helping neighbors,” said Tom Boggus, Texas A&M Forest Service director. “We call TIFMAS our ‘surge capacity’ for Texas. Guess this time their reach is a bit farther away but we hope to make a big impact in people’s lives.”

An 11-member strike team made up of firefighters from Frisco, Lewisville, Little Elm and Dallas-Fire Rescue were preparing Tuesday to spend the next two weeks fighting the Carr fire, north of Sacramento. Authorities said the initial strike team includes two brush trucks and one tender. The crew will be on duty for no longer than 14 days and may be replaced by a relief team, officials said.

"Nationally, we know that resources are tapped,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Chief Regional Coordinator, Steve Pollock, who is heading up the Texas convoy to California. “We are glad to help out and that TIFMAS firefighters were able to answer the call. The apparatus we are deploying are a mix of small and mid-sized engines used in structure fires.”

California currently has 20 uncontained wildfires. Scorching temperatures and explosive fire conditions have made them difficult to suppress or contain. Thousands of people have been evacuated in the Mendocino Complex, comprised of the 241,772-acre Ranch Fire, eight miles northeast of Ukiah and the 48,920-acre River Fire, six miles north of Hopland, California.

The Texas A&M Fire Service said reminded that Texas remains entrenched in its own wildfire season, so state fire officials here are planning carefully. To date, 6,975 Texas wildfires have been reported burning more than 492,393 acres. Local fire departments participating in the California mutual aid effort include:

Abilene Fire Department, Austin Fire Department, Baytown Fire Department, Borger Fire Department, Bryan Fire Department, Canyon Lake Fire Department, College Station Fire Department, Dallas Fire and Rescue Department, District 7 Fire Rescue, Frisco Fire Department, Galveston Fire Department, Kyle Fire Department, Lake Cities Fire Department, Lewisville Fire Department, Little Elm Fire Department, Lubbock Fire Department, Montgomery County ESD # 6 (Porter Fire), Nacogdoches Fire and Rescue, Oak Hill Fire Department, Travis Co. ESD#3, Parker County ESD #1, Round Rock Fire Department, San Antonio Fire Department, Schertz Fire Department, Southlake Fire Department, Stephenville Fire Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, Webster Fire Department, Wichita Falls Fire Department and Willis Fire Department.

The Texas A&M Fire Service said a convoy of transports deployed Monday night and more engines are rolling out for the two-day trip to northern California. Responders will board flights Tuesday and are expected to report for duty by Thursday morning, Aug. 9.

 “We will be praying for them as they convoy to the Mendocino Complex,” said Boggus. “This is truly a joint effort and TFS appreciates the partnerships involved to deliver this assistance.”

For more information about TIFMAS please visit

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