A two-man firefighting team from Southlake DPS is being diverted from Bastrop County to Cass County, near Caddo Lake in East Texas. The two man crew is part of the Northeast Tarrant County Strike Force Team that’s being sent in to help battle wildfires that are still popping up across Texas. The team is made up of eleven firefighters from Southlake, Grapevine, Trophy Club, Hurst and Richland Hills.
Lt. Kevin Hornick and firefighter David Sizemore headed to Cass County on Tuesday morning. They will help crews put out any new fires, douse hotspots and assist with cleanup efforts.
Meanwhile, firefighters are staying vigilant here at home ready to respond to any fire danger in and around the City of Southlake. On Tuesday a very high fire danger alert was issued for our area due to record high temperatures and low humidity. Residents are reminded that a burn ban is in effect and are urged to use caution when outdoors.
The effects of the devastating wildfires can be seen in the pictures taken by the first two-man firefighting team who have just returned from Bastrop County. Southlake’s Lt. Scott Estes and firefighter Lorin Bros spent a week in the fire-ravaged county. Estes and Bros worked 8 to 10 hour shifts to help provide relief to firefighters working around the clock. They worked mainly on foot to help cut fire lines, and worked with hand tools and rakes to keep the wildfires from spreading and to protect homes.
Since Labor Day, more than 180 wildfires have been reported statewide. More than 1,900 homes have been destroyed. Officials say the damage in Bastrop County alone could reach 150 million dollars.
The latest drought monitor shows 95 percent of the state in extreme drought with continued dry conditions expected into the fall season.
Texans are not out of the woods yet and residents are asked be mindful of fire hazards including: removing dry brush and bushes from around their home or property; avoid throwing lit cigarettes onto the ground; and please do NOT leave outdoor BBQ’s unattended.
The safety of Southlake residents is our number one concern during these extreme drought conditions.