Some 200 firefighters in 50 engines from 47 Texas fire departments in 23 counties will head to California to help fight three major wildfires that have taken at least 29 lives, destroyed more than 6,700 structures and prompted evacuations for about 250,000 Californians.

    “When the call came into Texas this summer to aid our California neighbors, Texas A&M Forest Service and TIFMAS were able to render aid. Nearly 100 Texas firefighters were of service. This is what mutual aid is all about and, here in Texas, we do it well so California asked the Texans to come back and help out again,” said Tom Boggus, Texas A&M Forest Service director.

    On Saturday, California emergency officials contacted the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TEDM) who then called Texas A&M Forest Service to request help via the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) program. TIFMAS is the fire and rescue framework that provides wildfire incident support. Texas A&M Forest Service helps coordinate wildland fire suppression efforts throughout Texas with local fire departments.

    “This is another solid example of Texas firefighters stepping up to help out. This is the largest mobilization of Texas firefighting resources to another state to fight wildland fires,” said Mark Stanford, fire chief and associate director at Texas A&M Forest Service. “TFS will send five engines but a majority of the personnel and engines are coming from municipal fire departments all across Texas.”

    Texas counties that are mobilizing resources include: Bexar, Brazos, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Harris, Hays, Hutchinson, Lamar, Montgomery, Parker, Potter, Somervell, Tarrant, Taylor, Tom Green, Travis, Walker, Wichita and Williamson.

    Nacogdoches Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger, who is also the TIFMAS state coordinator, said that these out-of-state assignments allow municipal firefighters to gain valuable experience that may not occur in their daily firefighting duties. 

    “The training and experience that our firefighters receive will better enable us to serve Texans at home,” said Kiplinger. “We are rotating these assignments among various departments around the state to give as many firefighters additional experience.”

    A total of 27 Texas A&M Forest Service personnel, a strike team and five fire engines from Brownwood, Childress, Smithville, Mineral Wells and Wolforth left today. Texas fire departments that are mobilizing personnel and engines include:

    Abilene Fire Department

    Amarillo Fire Department

    Austin Fire Department

    Baytown Fire Department

    Bexar County D-7

    Bexar County ESD-8 (Grey Forest)

    Borger Fire Department

    Bryan Fire Department

    City of Galveston Fire Department

    City of Midland Fire Department

    Conroe Fire Department

    Dallas Fire & Rescue

    District 7 Fire Rescue

    Eastex Fire Department

    Flower Mound Fire Department

    Forest Bend Fire Department

    Frisco Fire Department

    Fulshear Fire Department

    Kyle Fire Department

    Lake Travis Fire Rescue

    Lewisville Fire Department

    Little Elm Fire Department

    Longview Fire Department

    McKinney Fire Department

    Needham Fire Department

    New Waverly Volunteer Fire Department

    North Montgomery County ESD-1

    Oak Hill Fire Department

    Paris Fire Department

    Parker County ESD-6

    Plano Fire Rescue

    Porter Fire Department

    Powderly Volunteer Fire Department

    Prosper Fire Department

    Round Rock Fire Department

    San Angelo Fire Department

    Schertz Fire Rescue

    Somervell Fire Department

    Travis County ESD-3

    Weatherford Fire Department

    Webster Fire Department

    Westlake Fire Department

    Wichita Falls Volunteer Fire Department 

    TIFMAS and TFS firefighters are not yet specifically assigned to a location in California. They will be among thousands of personnel providing assistance on the following incidents:

    ·       The 113,000-acre Camp Fire in Butte County that caused 29 fatalities, destroyed 6,453 residences and 260 commercial structures. It is about 25 percent contained.

    ·       The 91,572-acre Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties that caused two fatalities, three firefighter injuries and destroyed 372 structures. It is about 20 percent contained.

    ·        The 4,531-acre Hill Fire in Ventura County that destroyed two structures and is nearly 80 percent contained.

    “Our thoughts and prayers go with our Texan firefighters,” said Boggus. “We are also thinking of our California neighbors and the tremendous losses they are currently dealing with in Los Angeles, Ventura and Butte Counties.”





    Texas A&M Forest Service TIFMAS Representative Les Rogers, Chief Law Enforcement Officer,, 979-218-2403

    Texas A&M Forest Service TIFMAS Assistant Representative Jared Karns, Branch Fire Coordinator,, 936-202-0688

    TIFMAS State Coordinator Chief Keith Kiplinger, Nacogdoches Fire Department,

    Texas A&M Forest Service Communications Office, or 979-458-6619