Governor Abbott Grants Temporary Waiver To Comptroller’s Office For Texas Wildfires

March 8, 2024 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced he granted a waiver to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts as Texas continues surging all available resources to support Texans and communities impacted by wildfires across the state.
“Texas continues to deploy all available resources to ensure emergency response personnel have what they need to respond to these devastating wildfires and help Texans begin to recover,” said Governor Abbott. “By suspending these rules, first responders and local officials will have access to readily available fuel so emergency vehicles can more efficiently deliver critical supplies to Texans in need and contain these wildfires. I thank all the first responders, state officials, and local personnel for working tirelessly to keep their fellow Texans safe.”
Comptroller of Public Accounts: The temporary waiver will allow the use of dyed diesel fuel in vehicles on Texas roadways and suspends requirements to pay the state motor fuels tax on such dyed diesel. The Texas Comptroller also secured a federal waiver to help with diesel fuel supply. 
This temporary suspension has been granted to the extent that these rules and requirements prevent, hinder, or delay Texas’ ongoing response to these dangerous wildfires. The suspension is limited to the duration of the disaster and restricted to the counties in the Governor’s disaster declaration.
Active Wildfires:
•    Grape Vine Creek Fire, Gray County – est. 34,882 acres, 96% contained
•    Smokehouse Creek Fire, Hutchinson County - est. 1,058,570 acres, 87% contained
•    Windy Deuce Fire, Moore County – est. 144,206 acres, 92% contained
Governor Abbott continues to take action to provide all available resources to help support local communities and protect Texans from these devastating wildfires, including:

  • Holding a briefing with lead state response agencies as well as local partners in Canadian to discuss and provide an update on the state’s continued response efforts.
  • Issuing a disaster declaration for 60 Texas counties in response to widespread wildfire activity. Additional counties may be added as conditions warrant.
  • Holding a briefing with state and local officials in Borger and providing an update on the state’s ongoing response to wildfires impacting the state.
  • Granting waivers for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to support a swift state response in support of impacted Texans.
  • Directing TDEM to deploy additional state emergency response resources and raise the readiness level of the State Emergency Operations Center to support the priority needs of communities facing impacts from these wildfires.
  • Receiving approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) request for the Smokehouse Creek Fire and Windy Deuce Fire, meaning that Texas will be eligible for 75% reimbursement from the federal government for costs associated with fighting those fires
  • Announcing joint SBA preliminary damage assessments to determine if Texas meets the threshold for additional federal disaster assistance.