At least 25 have died in wind-stoked wildfires, prompting California Officials to request the activation of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System.
by Jimmy Williams, NWFD
Early Monday morning, a crew of specially trained New Waverly Firefighters will depart with their fire engine headed for a rendezvous with 49 other Texas Engine Crews headed to California. Over the weekend, the State of Texas Emergency Operations Center activated the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, or TIFMAS for short, at the request of the State of California.
The New Waverly Fire Department has previously deployed certified wildland firefighters to major wildfires at the request of the State, mainly in west Texas, but this will be the first time they have deployed out of state, and only the second time Texas Firefighters have been deployed to California through TIFMAS. Earlier this year, Firefighters from the North Montgomery County Fire Department in Willis were part of the first ever Texas deployment. North Montgomery County Firefighters will be joining up with the New Waverly crew as they make their way to the West Coast.
The Texas Firefighters will be deployed for at least two weeks, and if still needed, their engines will remain while fresh crews are rotated in to take their place. At this time they have not been assigned to a particular area, but likely will be stationed throughout the state to provide coverage for depleted local fire departments and structure protection at major wildfires.
During the first deployment this summer, California requested smaller Brush Fire Engines for direct attack in wildland areas, but this time they have also requested full sizeType 1 Engines, used to fight structure fires as well as wildland fires. Four New Waverly Firefighters will be deploying with New Waverly Engine 72 and will remain together as a crew to respond to all types of emergencies.