San Antonio-area firefighters deployed to assist in battling Texas Panhandle fires

Smokehouse Creek fire now the largest wildfire in Texas history

This image taken from Greenville Fire-Rescue's facebook page on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 shows fires in the Texas Panhandle. A fast-moving wildfire burning through the Texas Panhandle grew into the second-largest blaze in state history, forcing evacuations and triggering power outages as firefighters struggled to contain the widening flames. (Greenville Fire-Rescue via AP) (Uncredited, Greenville Fire-Rescue)

Firefighters across Bexar County are actively being deployed to assist with batting devastating fires in the Texas Panhandle.

The Smokehouse Creek Fire is now the largest wildfire in Texas history, burning over 1,700 square miles.

Videos from across the region have captured the devastation caused by the fires, including from space, showing flames burning into Oklahoma.

Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday issued a disaster declaration for 60 Texas counties affected by the wildfires. Several state emergency response resources were also activated to support firefighting efforts, a news release from the governor said.

As crews in the Panhandle battle the flames, fire personnel from San Antonio, Bexar Country and the surrounding area are actively being deployed to assist.

Joe Arrington, a San Antonio Fire Department public information officer, said that six personnel were deployed with two more on standby.

  • Two members of an incident management team left Thursday morning to assist with response management.
  • Two wildland personnel left to support firefighting ground operations. Their deployment comes as part of the activation of the Texas Interstate Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS), a statewide resources program.
  • Two members of the Texas A&M Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) search and rescue team.
  • Two HELO personnel with TX-TF1 are on standby.

Other personnel from across South Texas are traveling to the Panhandle, many as part of TIFMAS mobilization efforts.

The Boerne Fire Department said in a Facebook reel that two firefighters are joining other neighboring departments.

On Tuesday, the Bexar County ESD No.8 Fire Department sent two firefighters as part of the TIFMAS team.

Personnel with the New Braunfels Fire Department Wildfire Team are working in Amarillo, Texas.

For up-to-date information from the Texas A&M Forest Service, visit their website.

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About the Author

Mason Hickok is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, walking his dogs and listening to podcasts.

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