As I’m sure you are all aware, wildfires are raging across much of my beloved home state. I knew it was bad, but then I saw this article, thanks to my friend Lundy. Here are the harrowing facts:
118,400: Acres burned in 181 fires in the past seven days.
20,900: Fires that have destroyed more than 1,000 homes since the fire season began in December 2010.
3.6 million: Number of acres burned in that time period.
700: Approximate number of homes burned by wildfires in the past seven days, about the same as the previous nine months.
121: Number of mutual-aid system firefighters from across the state who are currently fighting the Central Texas fires, using 72 fire engines and 18 command vehicles.
40: Texas Forest Service aircraft deployed statewide, including 15 single-engine air tankers, 12 helicopters and 13 aerial supervision aircraft assets deployed to multiple fires.
8: Texas Military Forces resource groups deployed so far, including 2 CH-47 Chinook helicopters, 3 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters assisting with fires in Bastrop County, 1 UH-60 Blackhawk staged in Austin to fight central Texas fires, 2 UH-60 Blackhawks assisting with the fires in Colorado County, and 3 ground wildfire support packages consisting of 4 dozers and 16 personnel each.
In addition, Texas Department of Public Safety emergency management personnel, highway patrol troopers, air assets and a mobile communications center have been deployed to Bastrop County, and the Texas Department of Transportation is providing personnel, equipment and fuel to responders.
This is terrible. Absolutely horrifying. There is a call out to ANYONE who has fire fighting experience to head to Central Texas to help fight the flames. Cheryl’s husband is a firefighter – he’s on the front lines. I have friends who are firefighters in the Houston area who have volunteered to head to parts of the state where fires are raging. Lundy herself manages a fire station that is involved in these fires. My mom took two of these pictures over the weekend, as she drove from Marble Falls back to Houston (the other is from CNN today):
If you can do anything to help – whether that’s being on the front lines or just praying for the families of those affected and those fighting fires, please do so. God bless Texas!