Governor Abbott Grants Temporary Waivers To Respond To Texas Wildfires

February 29, 2024 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today granted waivers for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) as Texas continues surging all available resources to support Texans and communities impacted by wildfires across the state.

“Texas continues surging emergency response resources to fight rapidly expanding wildfires that are impacting Texans and communities across the state,” said Governor Abbott. “By removing barriers to help Texans swiftly respond to this crisis, we will be able to serve more communities across our state that are being affected by these devastating wildfires. Texas state agencies are working around-the-clock to provide the necessary resources our communities need in this time of crisis. I thank our brave firefighters and emergency response personnel who continue to serve on the frontlines.”

TCEQ: The temporary suspension of rules to allow for the efficient disposal of animal carcasses and remove potential obstacles to disaster recovery.

TxDMV: The temporary suspension of several regulations related to commercial vehicle permitting requirements, including interstate vehicle registration, 72-hour and 144-hour temporary registration permitting, and oversize and overweight permitting.

DPS: The temporary suspension of rules related to carriers conducting response and recovery efforts to wildfires, allowing additional hours without violating federal regulations and enhancing efforts for lifesaving measures to be taken by motor carriers. 

These temporary suspensions have been granted to the extent that these rules and requirements prevent, hinder, or delay Texas’ ongoing response to these dangerous wildfires. The suspensions are limited to the duration of the disaster and restricted to the counties in the Governor’s disaster declaration.

Hundreds of state and local first responders continue working around the clock to contain multiple wildfires across the Texas Panhandle. The Smokehouse Creek Fire is estimated at 1,075,000 acres and is now the largest recorded wildfire in Texas history.

Over the course of the next several days, the potential for wildfire activity will increase for the Plains. Texans are encouraged to follow directions from officials, limit activities that may cause sparks or flames, and keep emergency supplies easily accessible. Texans can visit for wildfire tips, for safety information, and to report wildfire damages.

Active Wildfires:  

  • Grape Vine Creek Fire, Gray County - est. 30,000 acres, 60% contained
  • Smokehouse Creek Fire, Hutchinson County - est. 1,075,000 acres, 3% contained. *The 687 Reamer Fire has merged with Smokehouse Creek.
  • Windy Deuce Fire, Moore County - est. 142,000 acres, 30% contained
  • Magenta Fire, Oldham County - est. 2,500 acres, 65% contained