Firefighters from one Walker County and three Montgomery County fire departments headed for West Texas around 9 p.m. Friday night to help fight the massive wildfires in that area of the state. Porter, Needham, North Montgomery County and New Waverly Fire Departments sent 10 firefighters in booster trucks to Merkel, near Abilene.
Their destination is around six hours from home and they left prepared to stay four to five days or longer, according to Albert Martinez with North Montgomery County.
“It looks like they’re having a pretty hard time right now,” Martinez said. “We’re glad for the opportunity, and we’re hoping to assist them and get this fire out.”
Martinez said additional manpower was called in to replace those left Friday night. He also said his department had multiple calls on Friday from area residents who saw smoke that traveled from the affected areas to North Montgomery County.
Most of the trucks making the journey were partially funded by grants through the Texas Forest Service, which greatly reduce the cost to departments. In return, the departments agree to deploy those trucks anywhere they may be needed within the state.