FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2011
SC FORESTRY COMMISSION PERSONNEL DISPATCHED TO FIGHT TEXAS WILDFIRES
(Columbia, SC)- This morning, the South Carolina Forestry Commission sent ten personnel and five pieces of heavy equipment to aid our colleagues in Texas who continue to battle on-going wildfires. Hot, dry conditions persist and are challenging firefighters and emergency response agencies across much of the Southeast this summer.
Today’s deployment includes two “Type-6” engines and three firefighting tractor plows. Each Forestry Commission unit will be operated by a two-man team. These employees sacrifice their own leave time for this dangerous 14-day assignment (18 days including travel). They will be paid as temporary employees by the State of Texas for their time. The South Carolina Forestry Commission will be reimbursed by Texas for the use of the equipment.
The engine crews will suppress fires in and around the East Texas towns of Marshall and Henderson. Our dozer crews are headed to West Texas to fight fire near Abilene.
This deployment is just the latest in a continuing cycle which has seen South Carolina’s professional wildland firefighters called to duty in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. Since May, the Forestry Commission has deployed 56 personnel and 25 pieces of heavy equipment in response to out-of-state resource requests. These are generally two-week assignments.
Fire and personnel managers with the Forestry Commission consider weather, fire activity, and firefighting capacity in South Carolina BEFORE releasing resources for out-of-state duty. Wildfire activity in South Carolina is low.
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News editors, for more information contact Scott Hawkins at (803) 896-8820.
The SC Forestry Commission’s mission is to protect and develop South Carolina’s forest resource
For every $1.00 invested by SC in the Commission, the industry produces more than $1,800.00 of economic impact.