Texas Sends 200 Firefighters to Battle Devastating California Wildfire

Texas Sends 200 Firefighters to Battle Devastating California Wildfire

News Staff

The most destructive wildfire in state history continued to burn Sunday night in Northern California, while other blazes burned in other parts of the state.

There are now 31 confirmed deaths and more than 200 people unaccounted for in the Camp and Woolsey fires.

More than 4,000 firefighters are currently on the ground and more are on the way, including teams from across the state of Texas.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said more than 200 firefighters will be deployed to aid in the firefighting efforts.

In Southern California, where the Woolsey Fire burned, firefighters continued to work around the clock in an effort to protect homes and lives.

“We’re tired, but this is what we do,” said one firefighter on the front lines.

Help is on the way from the Lone Star State.

“Guys are eager,” said Dallas Fire-Rescue special operations deputy chief Charlie Salazar. “We try to send our most experienced people on the team.”

DFR is sending 17 firefighters to battle the flames in Ventura County.

The Wildland Strike Team also includes three firefighters from the Lewisville Fire Department and a fleet of fire engines built for rough terrain.

The mission for the Dallas team will be to protect structures and wildlife as well as to provide relief for colleagues on the front lines, according to Salazar.

“By the time we get there [firefighters there] are really tired,” Salazar said. “They’ve seen all the devastation, all the loss, all the fatalities so we come in and support them.”

Fire departments in Frisco and Fort Worth announced Sunday that they will also answer the call for resources in California. Each department will send five firefighters and a brush truck, leaving Monday for California.

Salazar said he expected his team would see much devastation, much like he remembered seeing in past wildfires.

But he also knows crews will encounter immense gratitude on the part of fellow firefighters and residents.

“When they see us and see that we’re from out of state, they’re always really thankful and it just makes me feel good that we’re able to provide that service for them in their time of need,” Salazar said.

The Dallas Wildland Strike Team is expected to depart from Dallas at about 12 p.m. Monday.

Other North Texas firefighting teams are heading out on Monday as well.