california wildfires

Southwest Airlines Provides Free Charter Flights for Texas Firefighters Helping to Battle Wildfires in California

This group of firefighters will relieve the nearly 170 other firefighters who will return to Texas after spending weeks on the front lines

Allan Waterman, Red Salmon Complex Fire

Southwest Airlines is providing two separate roundtrip charter flights to fly the Texas firefighters to and from California as they help to battle the wildfires.

Nearly 170 firefighters from across Texas, including about 80 from North Texas, are heading to California to provide assistance. In addition to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the firefighters come from departments in Texas cities like Houston, San Antonio, and Amarillo.

This group of firefighters will relieve the nearly 170 other firefighters who will return to Texas after spending weeks on the front lines. 

The firefighters from North Texas will depart from Love Field and fly to Amarillo, where they will pick up nine more firefighters before heading to Sacramento. Once they are in California, they will join approximately 80 other firefighters from Houston and San Antonio.

"At Southwest Airlines, our Heart is to take care of people, which is why we have a rich history of assisting Communities recover during times of need," Laurie Barnett, Managing Director of Communications and Outreach at Southwest Airlines, said. "It's an honor and privilege to fly these firefighters to the front lines where they're helping contain the wildfires while also bringing much-needed relief to the State of California." 

The Dallas-based airline is providing charter flights for approximately 330 Texas firefighters in total.

Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System resources have been providing assistance in California since Aug. 24.

According to fire officials with the city of Frisco, the Frisco Fire Department provided one wildland firefighting truck and personnel as a part of this mission. 

Crews from Texas are assigned to two incidents, the August Complex and the Creek Fire, and they continue to patrol fire lines and extinguish fires, the Frisco Fire Department said.

Over 3 million acres of land have been burned in California, and 25 fires are still actively burning.

Texas firefighters have also been assigned to incident management within the California Office of Emergency Services. 

Kyle Mills, the Frisco Fire Department Deputy Chief and TIFMAS North Branch Coordinator, is currently at the California State Operations Center in Sacramento coordinating Texas resources along with TIFMAS State Coordinator Keith Kiplinger. 

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