North Texas Firefighters Battle West Texas Wildfires
FLOWER MOUND (CBSDFW.COM) – Firefighters Chance Nelms and James Bobbitt are on standby to relieve two of their colleagues who are battling wildfires 70 miles northwest of Abilene.
“It’s (wildfire) a lot more intense compared to a structure fire,” Nelms said.
Nelms said he’s seen his share of brush fires and understands that those on the front lines are dealing with plenty of unknowns.
“It’s a terrain issue and a weather issue,” Nelms said. “The last deployment I went on, we were dealing with canyons and winds gusting to 75 miles-per-hour. It would blow up on you real fast.”
Bobbitt agreed, saying that the unpredictability of the wind and the uncontrolled environment can make for difficult situations.
“With a 30 mile-per-hour wind, it can move three or four miles in an hour,” he said. “The wind changes every second so you never know what you’re dealing with.”
With three brush trucks designed specifically for wildfires, Flower Mound has one of the better-equipped departments in the region to handle the challenge.
The small but powerful trucks can maneuver in rugged terrain where larger trucks are likely to fail.
Flower Mound firefighters are also familiar with the conditions.
Fifty percent of the city is already built out; which means the other half consists of mostly trees, fields and high grass. These rural stretches of land provide the perfect training ground for Flower Mound firefighters, officials said.
Nearly two-dozen North Texas cities have sent firefighters to battle one of the many wildfires burning in 21 counties throughout the state.