Governor Abbott Provides Update On State Response To Historic Wildfires

By: Governor Greg Abbott Press Office
| Published 03/01/2024

(PHOTO: Office Of The Governor, 3/1/2024)

AUSTIN, TX -- Governor Greg Abbott today held a briefing with state and local officials and provided an update on the state’s ongoing response to wildfires impacting Texans and communities across Texas during a press conference in Borger.

“The countless Texans who have been impacted by these devastating wildfires are going through challenges that require our ongoing support and assistance as we work together to help the entire Panhandle region rebuild and return to normalcy," said Governor Abbott. "I thank the many leaders and emergency management personnel here today who are working around-the-clock to swiftly respond to active wildfires and provide the resources impacted Texans need. Even in the midst of these devastating fires, we have seen a tremendous amount of perseverance and resiliency in these communities. Together, we will do everything we can to deliver the resources and assistance Texans need to respond and stay safe."

During the press conference, the Governor offered the full support of the State of Texas to impacted communities as they continue to experience dangerous wildfire conditions. Additionally, the Governor highlighted the extensive work state and local officials and emergency response personnel have done to respond to wildfire activity throughout the Panhandle region and provide assistance. The Governor also addressed Texas' plan to expand air support and debris removal services in affected regions as dangerous weather threats persist in the coming days.

The Governor was joined at the briefing and press conference by Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, Congressman Ronny Jackson, State Senator Charles Perry, State Representative Four Price, State Representative John Smithee, Texas A&M Forest Service Director Al Davis, Borger Mayor Karen Felker, Hutchinson County Judge Cindy Irwin, and other state and local officials.

Yesterday, the Governor granted waivers for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) as Texas continues surging all available resources to support Texans and communities impacted by wildfires across the state. On Wednesday, Governor Abbott directed TDEM to deploy additional state emergency response resources to meet the urgent needs of communities currently experiencing wildfire activity.

Texans impacted by devastating wildfires are encouraged to complete TDEM’s Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) self-reporting damage survey to help state and local officials identify damages and determine the state’s eligibility for federal disaster assistance. The survey is available in both English and Spanish and can be accessed by visiting:

Information provided in the self-reported damage assessment surveys help emergency management officials identify any immediate resource needs and understand the extent of damages that have occurred. Survey information also aids officials in determining the state’s eligibility for various forms of federal disaster assistance. Reporting damage through the iSTAT tool is a voluntary activity and is not a substitute for reporting damage to your insurance agency. It does not guarantee disaster assistance.

Texans are urged to heed guidance from their local officials, limit activities that may cause sparks or flames, and keep emergency supplies easily accessible. Texans can visit for wildfire tips, for safety information, and to report wildfire damages.

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