Team of Austin firefighters joining effort to put out West Texas wildfire


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin firefighters are not ones to run away from a fire, they go straight to it.

Even if that means their help is needed hundreds of miles away in West Texas.

Seven Austin firefighters are on the road and getting closer to half a dozen wildfires burning along the scenic loop in Fort Davis.

As of 9 a.m., 8,000 acres have burned. Firefighters gathered at a fire station off Brodie Lane in southwest Austin ready to roll out and take that long drive across the state.

The crews loaded up in two trucks ready to go and fight the fires burning out of control in the Davis Mountains.

Austin Fire Battalion Chief Josh Portie told KXAN’s Sally Hernandez about 300 firefighters from all over Texas will join forces to help the rural fire departments.

“They got a lot of lightning, a lot of dry lightning and that started a whole bunch of small fires,” Portie said. “As of yesterday, my understanding, there was about five or six fires still remaining all burning in rugged terrain in the Davis Mountains really difficult to access.”

The team from Austin will spend at least 7 days deployed. They will live in tents in the desert safely positioned next to the fires, ready to quickly respond.

The firefighters will also be bringing something back: experience. AFD says this will better prepare Austin firefighters for any wildfires here at home.

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