State Sends Help To Battle Wildfires - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/14/08

State Sends Help To Battle Wildfires

Six regions across Texas, including the South Plains, are getting state assistance to protect against the spread of wildfires. Air tankers are standing by day and night to battle blazes before they become uncontrollable.

Lubbock's Emergency Management Director, Kevin Overstreet says with humidity levels as low as they are and wind speeds as high as they are, this type of state protection is necessary to protect us all.

"What the state has done is they've placed resources such as air tankers in several cities in this region," Overstreet said.

Midland, Abilene, Amarillo and Childress are all now equipped to send air tankers anywhere on the South Plains where wildfires have gone out of control.

"It's very customary for them to send resources to our region that way they're in place and we don't have to call the state and try to hunt down these resources," Overstreet said.

Overstreet says with these tankers in place response time goes from almost four hours to one.

"The turn around time is very quick," he said.

These state fire protection resources are broken down into six zones across Texas. Lubbock and the South Plains are in zone one.

"The South Plains region is a 15-county region and it's all the way from the New Mexico border all the way over here to Dickens," Overstreet said.

This plan will be implemented by following a 46-page state guide book so the room for error in fire protection is virtually nonexistent.

"We have an incident action plan that was put together by the state and basically it provides all the critical information that we need to get support from outside agencies."

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