Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Texas Forest Service Heading to New Mexico to Help Battle Fires

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Volunteer firefighter Jason Collard prepares to fight a running wildfire on April 19, 2011 in Strawn, Texas.

During Texas’ worst wildfire season on record last year, more than 16,000 emergency responders and firefighters came to the Lone Star State to help battle the blazes. Today the Texas Forest Service announced that they’re going to send some of their own to help fight the Little Bear Fire near Ruidoso, New Mexico. That fire has burned nearly 38,000 acres and is only 45 percent contained. So far, more than 200 homes have been lost, with damages estimated over $22.5 million.

“Following the fire season we had last year, this is an opportunity for Texas to give back to those who helped us,” Bob Koenig, chief response training coordinator for Texas Forest Service, said in a statement today.

Koenig and fourteen others will head to New Mexico this weekend.

More from the Texas Forest Service:

“Assembled by Koenig, the team of responders will be charged with organizing community meetings, providing information to the public, maintaining relationships with landowners and local government officials, documenting damage assessment information and developing a safety plan for evacuated residents returning to their homes. The team also will coordinate lodging, medical and pet needs, and help draft plans for volunteer contributions and debris management.

This is the first deployment under the Emergency Interstate Response Support Plan, an agreement among five states within FEMA Region VI to provide aid in a disaster.”

You can learn more about last year’s devastating wildfire season at our interactive web page, Dried Out: Confronting the Texas Drought.


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