Governor Abbott Directs State Emergency Response Resources Ahead Of Critical Wildfire Threats

March 22, 2024 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to activate state emergency response resources ahead of critical wildfire conditions anticipated for the Panhandle and West Texas this weekend and into the beginning of next week.

"As wildfire threats are expected across West Texas and the Panhandle this weekend, Texas is ready to swiftly respond with emergency resources and personnel to assist local officials to keep their communities safe,” said Governor Abbott. “Texans in at-risk areas are urged to remain vigilant, regularly monitor conditions and take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones. I thank all of the brave firefighters and emergency personnel who worked around-the-clock to protect their fellow Texans from the recent historic wildfires and will continue to do so in the coming days."

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, the potential for critical wildfire activity will be focused across parts of the Texas Plains and Southwest Texas for areas near Alpine, Amarillo, Andrews, Childress, Lubbock, and Fort Davis. Strong winds, gusting to 65 mph, may develop over dormant grasses. Despite recent scattered rainfall, grass vegetation will support new wildfire ignitions and growth. The magnitude of the wind will increase the possibility of large wildfires that exhibit resistance to firefighters’ suppression efforts occurring. 


In anticipation of critical wildfire conditions, the Governor has directed TDEM to activate the following state emergency response resources to support wildfire response operations: 

  • Texas A&M Forest Service: Over 200 firefighters and 30 fire engines; heavy equipment such as bulldozers and motor graders; All-Hazard Incident Management Teams; Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike teams comprised of over 100 personnel and over 30 fire engines; Nearly 20 firefighting aircraft including large airtankers, multi-engine air tankers, single engine airtankers, aerial supervision modules and air attack platforms. 
  • Texas Division of Emergency Management: Emergency response personnel to support requests for state assistance from local officials. 
  • Texas National Guard: Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters with firefighting capability.
  • Texas Department of State Health Service (Texas Emergency Medical Task Force): Wildland Fire Support Packages including paramedics and ambulances.
  • Texas Department of Transportation: Personnel and equipment to assist with road closures and fuel for firefighting support.
  • Texas Department of Public Safety: Texas Highway Patrol Troopers to assist with road closures and traffic control. 
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Disaster Assessment and Recovery Agents as well as AgriLife Extension Agents to support agricultural and livestock needs.
  • Texas Animal Health Commission: Personnel to provide livestock support. 
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Air/water/wastewater monitoring. 


Texas are encouraged to make an emergency plan, limit activities that may cause sparks or flames, follow directions from officials, and keep emergency supplies easily accessible. Texans can visit and for wildfire tips and safety information.