Texarkana, Texas, firefighters deployed to help battle huge Panhandle blaze

From left, Texarkana Texas Fire Department Driver-Engineer Aaron Johnson, Capt. Danny Douglas, Firefighter Ethan Phillips and Capt. Dakota Huddleston pose for a photo Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, near wildfires burning in the Texas Panhandle. TTFD Assistant Chief Chuck Weerts on Wednesday said the four men were on standby to help fight the fires. (Photo courtesy of TTFD)
From left, Texarkana Texas Fire Department Driver-Engineer Aaron Johnson, Capt. Danny Douglas, Firefighter Ethan Phillips and Capt. Dakota Huddleston pose for a photo Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, near wildfires burning in the Texas Panhandle. TTFD Assistant Chief Chuck Weerts on Wednesday said the four men were on standby to help fight the fires. (Photo courtesy of TTFD)

TEXARKANA, Texas -- Four local firefighters left town early Tuesday morning to head towards Hemphill County, Texas, where uncontrolled fires raged.

Captains Danny Douglas and Dakota Huddleston, as well as driver-engineer Aaron Johnson and firefighter Ethan Phillips, are one team among several prepared to take on the Windy Deuce fires.

Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Weerts on Wednesday morning said the four men were on standby.

"They may be put up in a temporary shelter, they may sleep on the line, or they may get a hotel room," Weerts said. "All depends on if they get moved from this fire to another one."

No deaths or injuries caused by the fires in the Texas Panhandle had been reported by authorities as of Wednesday morning, but officials were concerned about multiple losses of property, according to the Associated Press. Gov. Greg Abbott issued a declaration of disaster for 60 counties adjacent or immediately within grasp of the fires.

Weerts said the fires were 20% contained and his fellow firefighters may be deployed for seven to 21 days as part of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System.

"I know they have several large fires in that area, and they've conducted evacuations in some of the cities," Weerts said.

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