KILLEEN, Texas – The Killeen Fire Department Wildland team returned from a two-week deployment to assist in fighting the wildfires in Eastland County. They share what they saw.
“And because the fire conditions was extreme, there was extreme fire conditions and behavior. If you got in front of it, you could now run it for the truck,” says Battalion Chief Cory Davis.
The Killeen fire crew hasn’t seen a fire this big since the Bastrop wildfires back in 2011.
“Eastland County. It burned up roughly 55,000 acres. And there was several different fires. It was seven different fires within the footprint,” says Davis.
The crew consist of Battalion Chief Cory Davis and firefighters Joseph Stiles, Charles Layton, and Matthew Harper were deployed to Eastland County from March 16-29 to help battle the fires assisted those in Eastland county.
The deployment was part of a Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS), a system designed to provide aid across the state. During deployments, crews are on stand by until needed, with the mass of the fire we saw. It was all hands on deck.
“While we were there, we were able to get on a couple of new starts so they weren’t able to grow as big as the fire was going to. Having all these resources pre-deployed in the area ready to go,” says Killeen Firefighter, Charles Layton.
During the deployment, these firefighters saw destruction all over, families losing their homes and towns.
“We do what we can to help ease the suffering on them by whatever little bit we did help me out a lot, but I feel like I hopefully help the community,” says Layton.
“It’s their hay that burned out. Their cattle were destroyed. So it wasn’t just about saving homes. It was about saving their their way of life,” says Davis.
As of Friday afternoon, Lone State State Incident Management Team- Texas A&M Forest Service says the Eastland County is 100% contained and the Crittenberg Complex fire is 90% contained.
To find out how you can help our local fire departments, you can click here.