Houston-area firefighters head to California to help with wildfires

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More than 40 Houston-area firefighters headed out to California Tuesday morning to help battle the wildfires ravaging that state.

The firefighters who arrived at Hobby Airport are part of a group of 170 firefighters going to California to relieve other Texas firefighters who have spent the past few weeks on the front lines.

The firefighters leaving from Houston will first fly to San Antonio to meet up with firefighters there before leaving for California, where they will meet another group from the Dallas and Amarillo areas.

"We're doing 24-hour shifts right now, that's all I know. Once I get there, I'll find out where I'm going and what we're going to do," said Jonathan Cook with the Galveston Fire Department.



Firefighters from Nacogdoches were also seen at Hobby, waiting to board the flights chartered by Southwest Airlines.

The past month has been nonstop for firefighters in the Houston area, who have been battling one disaster after another.

"Some of us just got off deployment from Hurricane Laura over on the Texas-Louisiana border. We were over there for two weeks, and now we took a couple of weeks off, and now we are going over here to California," said HFD's Chris Mixon.

"It's our job. That's what we do, help those in need in times of disaster," added HFD's Justin Hiddleston.

Nearly 70,000 acres have burned with the most recent Glass and Zogg fires.



Earlier in September, Gov. Greg Abbott deployed firefighters and support personnel from across Texas to help combat the devastating wildfires in California.

Approximately 190 firefighters, 50 fire trucks and 10 command vehicles from 56 fire departments in Texas were deployed.

"Texas is ready to answer the call for help when disaster strikes - whether it's here in the Lone Star State or across the country," Abbott said. "I thank the brave men and women serving in our fire departments across Texas for stepping up to help Californians in need as the fires continue to burn."

Those resources are in addition to the 44 firefighters, 10 fire trucks and two command vehicles deployed in late August.

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