Texas A&M Forest Service is deploying additional personnel to fight forest fires in the western states


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A member of the Lone Star State Type II Initial Attack Hand Crew


Texas A&M Forest Service

More than 70 Texas A&M Forest Service employees are currently involved in forest fires in several western states, including Arizona, California, Idaho, and Montana.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 70 major fires are burning in the United States, with more than 17,700 firefighters and overhead personnel responsible for the incidents.

Last week the Texas A&M Forest Service dispatched the Lone Star State Type II Initial Attack Hand Crew to Northern California. This 20-person crew supports the Modoc National Forest as the first attack resource. Most recently, the crew helped with the 1,011-acre Juniper Fire, which is now fully contained, according to the USDA Forest Service.

“With persistently hot and arid conditions in the west, forest fires and fire resource needs are increasing,” said Les Rogers, director of fire and incident response at Texas A&M Forest Service. “We pride ourselves on sending qualified personnel to fight these forest fires.”

In addition to the hand crew, a 10 person suppression module, six machine crews, two bulldozer crews, and several overhead personnel are currently deployed outside the state. All resources will complete a 14-21 day assignment before returning to Texas.

Due to the significant fire activity in several geographic areas across the country and the strong commitment of shared resources for major fires at the national level, the National Multi Agency Coordinating Group has raised the National Readiness Level to Level 5.

Readiness levels are determined by fuel and weather conditions, fire activity, and the availability of fire extinguishers across the country. Level 5 is the highest level of forest fires and indicates a high use of resources in fires at national level.

The state of Texas is currently at Level 1. The pattern of increased humidity from late June continues into July, and forest fire activity remains below normal. The forest fire potential across the state is currently low.

The Texas A&M Forest Service remains committed to protecting Texas citizens and natural resources from forest fires and incidents of all hazards, even as national activities have increased. The agency continues to monitor conditions and assess local needs.

For information on current conditions and forest fire prospects, see the Texas Fire Potential Outlook. For more information on the Texas A&M Forest Service’s Lone Star State Type II Initial Attack Hand Crew, please visit https://bit.ly/LSSHandCrew.

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