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Texas Assists New Mexico with Wildfire Response

By FROM A PRESS RELEASE
June 20, 2012 at 1:20 a.m.


AUSTIN - At the request of New Mexico state emergency management officials, Gov. Rick Perry has authorized the Texas Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to deploy state resources to New Mexico to help manage the impact of a raging wildfire near Ruidoso. The State of Texas is providing a Type III All Hazards Incident Management Team to assist residents and local leaders who have been impacted by the Little Bear fire in Lincoln County, New Mexico.

"Emergency officials in New Mexico, who are fighting this raging wildfire, have asked for our assistance in dealing with the devastating impact to their communities," said TDEM Chief Nim Kidd. "We have a team heading to New Mexico today, and as a state that knows all too well about the devastation caused by wildfires, we are glad to be helping our neighbors during this difficult time."

The Little Bear fire has burned approximately 38,000 acres since June 4. The fire is still burning and is currently 45 percent contained.

"Wildfires strike without warning and can engulf thousands of acres very quickly. We understand the challenges emergencies like this one can present, requiring numerous emergency resources to rapidly respond," Gov. Rick Perry said. "We are fortunate to be in a position to help our friends in need, and we pray that the flames soon burn out, so the families and communities in New Mexico who have been impacted by this wildfire can begin to recover and rebuild."

The Texas Forest Service will be commanding the 15-man Incident Management Team, which is tasked with organizing community meetings, providing information to the public, working with landowners and local government officials, documenting damage assessment information and developing a safety plan for evacuated residents returning to their homes. The team also will coordinate lodging, medical and pet needs, and help draft plans for volunteer contributions and debris management.

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