Forest services from across the country assist with Brazos County wildfires

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:06 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -With over 60 wildfires reported in Bryan in the last two months, the Bryan Fire Department has needed to call in extra help from forest services across the country.

Robert Williamson, Bryan Fire Department Deputy Fire Marshall, said as a firefighter, its common knowledge that firefighters will travel anywhere across the country to help departments in need. That’s why he said forest services from out of state are helping out Bryan-College Station.

“We’ve sent crews to go fight large wildfires all over. I mean all the way to California. The thing is we’ve always relied on mutual aide,” Williamson said. “This is our time to gain assistance and when other places need it more than us, we’ll give right back.”

The Texas A&M Forest Service has been a highlighted agency by the Bryan Fire Department. Williamson told us the support from Texas A&M Forest Service has been much needed this summer.

“We need heavier equipment for bigger fires,” said Williamson. “We were starting to call out the forest service more and more often. It just made sense keeping those resources close.”

Williamson explained the Texas A&M Forest Service has equipment their station doesn’t offer. Including bulldozers, motor graters and aircrafts.

“Texas A&M Forest Service has been very helpful to us this summer,” Williamson said. “We have our fire engines which are effective but having more resources is better for everyone.”

Wes Moorehead, Associate Director of Forest Resource Protection and Fire Chief at Texas A&M Forest Service, said over 97 percent of Texas is in some level of a drought.

“Two hundred and twenty five counties in Texas are under a burn ban right now,” Moorehead said. “The whole state of Texas is going through what Bryan-College Station is going through.”

Moorehead said the Texas A&M Forest Service has brought resources from 41 other states to help out with wildfires in Brazos County. Bringing people to help from all over is just part of the job, according to Moorehead.

“Service is in our name. That’s what we do day in and day out,” said Moorehead. “Our goal is to serve the citizens of Texas, serve the fire departments across the state, and we’re fortunate enough to do that with Bryan fire department.”

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