Austin, Round Rock firefighters heading to California for wildfire response

Travis County

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Central Texas firefighters are preparing to help California with its wildfire response.

On Friday, Governor Greg Abbott announced firefighters and other support personnel from across Texas will be deployed to help fight the devastating wildfires.

The Associated Press reports 2020 has already broken California’s records for the most area burned — more land than the state of Connecticut.

Gov. Abbott’s Office said around 190 firefighters, 50 fire trucks and 10 command vehicles from 56 fire departments in the state will travel to California Friday. These teams are in addition to 44 firefighters, 10 fire trucks and two command vehicles that were sent in late August.

The Round Rock Fire Department reported their personnel will be among the second wave.

“Lt. Matt Quade, Captain Jason Rutherford and Driver Wayne Pietzsch of the Round Rock Fire Department are currently deploying to California as part of a strike force from Texas to assist in fighting ongoing wildfires,” the department said on Facebook.

RRFD said they’re expected to stay for at least two weeks. Austin Fire confirmed it would be sending some personnel too.

The statewide deployment of firefighters is made possible by the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, which allows Texas to mobilize resources from fire departments across the state, Gov. Abbott’s Office said.

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