Potential for Texas wildfires prompts officials to call for extra support

The Texas A&M Forest Service is expecting the arrival of two large airtankers on Tuesday that it says will provide an extra level of protection against upcoming potential wildfire danger in West Texas and the Panhandle. 

The airtankers will reside at the Abilene Airtanker Base at the Abilene Regional Airport. The Base will serve as a resource for the entire region of Texas and Oklahoma.

Last week, a fire environment caused by dry fuels, strong winds and high temperatures produced fire activity in several areas of Texas, says the forest service. State, federal and local firefighters united to respond to extreme wildfires at the 2,300-acre Electra Complex in Wichita County, the 3,607-acre Twin Creek Fire in Moore County and the 6,300-acre Arrowhead Fire in Clay County. 

"The tremendous response effort exhibited over the past 72 hours included numerous agencies and local first responders," said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Assistant Director. "That is truly what Texans helping Texans looks like." 

Conditions this week are expected to be similar and have the potential to create a supportive environment for fires. Weather on Monday and Tuesday will produce low to moderate potential, but will increase to moderate to high potential on Wednesday. 

Texas A&M Forest Service has teamed up with the Texas Division of Emergency Management to rally an increased number of firefighters via the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS). 

In addition to the Abilene Airtanker Base, there are also three single engine airtankers and one air attack platform propositioned in Childress, Texas.

The forest service says it is important that all citizens in the area do their part to prevent wildfires and stay cautious of outdoor activity that could lead to fire. To see current conditions and wildfire outlook, visit the Texas Fire Potential Outlook

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