Section 4: Response to Wildfires

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The department is frequently asked to support wildfire fighting operations because of its equipment and personnel resources.

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Request for TxDOT Assistance

Requests for TxDOT to participate in fighting a wildfire should be routed to the district maintenance engineer through the appropriate disaster district, as with any other disaster or potential disaster. This will assure that TxDOT employees are directed by supervisors who have wildfire operations experience.

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Functions of TxDOT Employees in Fighting Fires

Only people trained in fire fighting and equipped with nomex pants and shirts, nomex neck protectors, leather lace-up boots, leather gloves, goggles and hard hats should be in the close proximity of a wildfire.

The department's contributions are limited to activities other than actual firefighting. Activities such as blading fire breaks, providing water trucks and fuel trucks, and mop-up (pushing smoldering fuels away from the perimeter after there are no active flames) are appropriate for TxDOT.

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Fireguard Policy

Unless established as a condition within a previous right of way conveyance document, TxDOT will not provide for the routine disking and/or blading of fireguards as a preventive measure for potential wildfires.

The use of TxDOT resources for disking and/or blading of fireguards are allowed only when approved by the disaster district committee chairperson, director of the Governor's Division of Emergency Management, or the Governor.

Authorization for the use of TxDOT resources could only be expected if the emergency is beyond the capability of the local governmental entity to control and qualifies under one of the following conditions:

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  • the emergency is deemed necessary for life saving operations
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  • to relieve suffering and hardship as a result of a natural or man-made emergency.
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