NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The state fire mutual aid system has about 7,000 local firefighters from across Texas that deploy during all kinds of disasters.
KTRE’s T’Ebonie Tanner reports the city of Nacogdoches Fire Department has a crew out in California helping to combat wildfires.
“A group of those firefighters were deployed almost a month ago to California to help with the wildfires. Then a week and a half ago, we sent another 235 firefighters across Texas with 50 additional fire engines to support California’s firefighting efforts,” said Keith Kiplinger, Fire Chief for the city of Nacogdoches.
Chief Kiplinger says this is the department’s second time going to California to help out. The first time was back in 2018.
"The initial deployment period was for 14 days for 10 engines, then we added 50 engines to that. They stayed for 14 days, so they time out on Monday. This crew swap will allow us to do another 14 days in California,' Kiplinger explained.
Kiplinger says they have firefighters in northern California and near Fresno, California at the Creek fire and at the August Complex fire.
“The conditions in California are very different than they are in East Texas,” said Kiplinger. “Those fires are very large fires. The containment of those fires is somewhere in the 30 percent range at this point, but they are both several hundred thousand acres in size.”
He says the Nacogdoches firefighters are being extremely safe and cautious.
“The state of California covers the entire cost of this. So, the firefighters in Nacogdoches and the fire station will still be staffed just like it is on a normal day. The state of California even pays for that backfield to make sure that our community here is protected.”
Kiplinger asks that the Nacogdoches community keeps the firefighters in their thoughts and prayers during this time.