May 8, 2008

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Five More AFC Firefighters Leave for Texas Wildfire Duty

Five additional wildland firefighters from the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) are being sent to assist the Texas Forest Service, bringing the total number of Alabama firefighters to 51 who have battled Texas wildfires since February of this year. They will be departing from Tuscaloosa at 10:00 am on Friday, May 9. This eighth team is replacing a group of firefighters who are scheduled to return early next week.

During their 16-day assignment, these Alabama firefighters will be involved in initial fire attack, operating heavy wildland fire suppression units (bulldozers) as the other crews have been doing over the past few months. The first AFC team left on February 23.

These AFC firefighters are joining crews from several other states under the terms of the Southern Fire Compact. This mutual aid agreement between the southern states, activated at the request of each state’s State Forester, provides firefighting assistance in case of severe wildfire conditions.

On Wednesday, May 7, there were four new fires for 1,669 acres, including one for 800 acres and one for 702 acres. Three homes were evacuated, but 21 homes and 28 outbuildings were saved. Very dry conditions continue across the western portions of the state, with relative humidity values in the single digits and winds gusting up to 40 mph. Since the first of the year, a total of  7,578 wildfires have consumed over a million acres in the state of Texas.

For more information, contact:

Steve May
Fire Division Director
Alabama Forestry Commission
(334) 240-9335  

Lou Hyman
Assistant Fire Division Director 
Alabama Forestry Commission
(334) 240-9354


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