Texas, USA — Eight additional wildland firefighters from the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) are being sent to Granbury, Texas to assist the Texas Forest Service in battling wildfires. They are replacing the second team of firefighters who are scheduled to return early next week; the first team returned on Tuesday. The third team will be departing from Tuscaloosa at 10:00 am on Friday, March 14.
During their 16-day assignment, these Alabama firefighters will be involved in initial fire attack, operating heavy wildland fire suppression units (bulldozers) as the first two crews have been doing over the past two weeks. All of these men are experienced firefighters, having passed the strictest training and physical fitness requirements. Most have fought western fires in recent years, including details in Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas.
These AFC firefighters are joining crews from several other states under the terms of the Southern Fire Compact. This mutual aid agreement between the southern states provides firefighting assistance to each other in case of severe wildfire conditions, and is activated at the request of each state’s State Forester.
On Wednesday, a 650-acre blaze still raged while more than 300 residents were evacuated from their homes. Since the first of the year, high winds and low relative humidity have contributed to 3,564 wildfires consuming 590,089 acres in Texas. Although 368 structures have been destroyed, a total of 7,205 have been saved.