Governor Greg Abbott today provided an update on the state’s ongoing wildfire response efforts at a press conference following a briefing on wildfire activity from local and state officials in Abilene. Last Thursday, the Governor announced the ongoing coordinated response to wildfires burning across West and Central Texas, including the Mesquite Heat Fire in Taylor County.
The Governor was joined at the briefing and press conference by Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Region 5 Assistant Chief Brandi Ashby, State Senator Charles Perry, State Representative Stan Lambert, Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls Jr., and Taylor County Sheriff Ricky Bishop.
“State agency partners and local communities are working collaboratively to provide a vigorous, coordinated response to slow the spread of wildfires across West and Central Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “Texans are encouraged to remain weather-aware and follow the guidance of their local officials to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. I also thank our brave first responders and emergency personnel for working around the clock to help all those affected.”
During the press conference, the Governor outlined the State of Texas’ continued wildfire response and recovery efforts. He also noted that up to 200 people had been evacuated as a result of the Mesquite Heat Fire in Taylor County, but all shelters have now been closed. A pet and livestock shelter remains open until Monday at the Taylor County Expo Center. The livestock supply at the Taylor County Expo Center is taking donations to provide for citizens who have been affected by the fire.
The Governor also encouraged Texans affected by wildfires to complete TDEM’s Self Reporting Damage Survey. This survey will help the state identify damages across Texas and allow emergency management officials to gain an understanding of damages caused by recent wildfires. This data is also needed to provide information to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine the state’s eligibility for federal disaster assistance and highlight the need for individuals. The voluntary survey, available in both English and Spanish, can be accessed by visiting: damage.tdem.texas.gov. Reporting damage to TDEM is a voluntary activity, is not a substitute for reporting damage to an insurance agency, and does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.