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Governor issues disaster declaration for wildfire

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The Apple Springs and Groveton fire departments fought a large grass fire on Monday. COURTESY PHOTOThe Apple Springs and Groveton fire departments fought a large grass fire on Monday. COURTESY PHOTO

Special to theNews-Standard

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced that he has issued a disaster declaration for 191 Texas counties, including Trinity County, in response to widespread wildfire activity throughout the state.

Additional counties may be added as conditions warrant.

Fire departments throughout Trinity County have been battling blazes; in Trinity, illegal burning has led to additional work; Groveton VFD has been called out to small fires and mutual aid for nearby cities; and on Monday, the Apple Springs VFD battled a large brush/grass fire, which currently is under control.

This fire was started when a hay baler caught fire off of Duke Road, made worse by hot, dry weather.

“The State of Texas continues working with local officials to respond to critical wildfire activity across the entire state,” Abbott said. “I issued a disaster declaration to surge the deployment of additional resources and assistance to 191 counties currently experiencing dangerous wildfire conditions.

“As we continue to respond to wildfire conditions across the state, Texas is ready to provide any additional resources and aid to impacted communities,” he said. “I commend the bravery and service of the hundreds of emergency personnel and firefighters who have swiftly responded to the wildfires to protect their fellow Texans and communities. Texans are encouraged to remain weather-aware and heed the guidance of state and local officials.”

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, wildfire activity is expected to continue as high temperatures and dry conditions persist. Critical fire weather is forecasted for Central and East Texas, with the risk increasing mid-week.

At the Governor’s direction, the following state firefighting resources remain deployed by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) across the state in support of wildfire response operations:

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