DAVIS (CBS13) — Red flag warnings predicted this weekend have California officials prepared for battle.
Firefighters are feeling the strain, fighting fires across the state. Now, help is on the way from Texas.
Twenty-five engines arrived in Davis from Texas after a more than 30-hour drive, along with equipment and crews.
“We’re looking forward to getting out on the fire lines and helping out,” said Captain Jason Rutherford from the Round Rock Fire Department.
Captain Rutherford may be a firefighter from Round Rock Texas, but for the next two weeks, he’ll be working side by side with California fire crews.
“When you have a red flag warning and high winds, you have to be on your toes,” Rutherford said.
State officials called upon Texas for help as 14,000 California firefighters are currently working 12 fires.
“I know they are tapped out, the firefighters are extremely fatigued. If they’re going to continue operations for 3 to 4 weeks longer, you’re gonna have to reach out to your neighbors,” says Chief Steve Pollock with the Texas A&M Forest Service.
Fire Engines driven on flatbed trucks from cities across Texas were delivered in Davis Thursday, and 98 crew members arrived Wednesday night, they’ll head to the Carr fire Friday.
Texas crews say they operate under the same rules of engagement for wildfire operations as local crews, but there are some things specific to California.
“We will probably see some conditions that we normally don’t see in Texas, more mountains, we tend to be more flat,” Pollock said.
Captain Keith Kiplinger out of Nacogdoches says Texas firefighters are eager to lend a hand to California crews who came to their aid when they needed it.
“California responded and helped us in Hurricane Harvey and now we have a chance to help. I think this is what this country is all about, and what the fire service is about,” Kiplinger said.
Texas crews said they’ll be on the fire lines for at least 14 days and will stay longer if needed.