AUSTIN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to ready resources ahead of elevated conditions for critical wildfire danger in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas, according to a release from the governor’s office on Wednesday, December 22, 2021.
In the release, the Texas A&M Forest Service warns that elevated to critical fire weather is forecast for the Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas Wednesday, December 22 through Sunday, December 26. The combination of critical fire weather and dry to critically dry fuels will support increased wildfire activity. The most potential for wildfire activity will be Friday, December 24 as strong winds, above normal temperatures, and low humidity align with dry fuel to produce significant fire potential.
“Texas is fully prepared to respond to any potential wildfire activity that could occur this week across our state,” said Governor Abbott. “We will continue to monitor weather conditions and encourage Texans to heed the guidance of their local officials, and we thank our firefighters and emergency response personnel who are working away from their families this Christmas season to keep our communities safe.”
The following resources have been deployed by the Texas A&M Forest Service: 6 Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) strike teams, including 82 firefighters and 25 fire engines; one fire suppression module, including 7 personnel; two large air tankers; three Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATS); and one air attack aerial supervision aircraft. An additional 118 firefighters and an Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) Wildland Support Unit are on standby to be deployed if necessary.
These resources will support local officials’ response to wildfires if they exceed local response capabilities.