KETR Local
10:07 am
Mon June 6, 2011

Deployment still an option for area firefighters


– Local fire crews are keeping an eye on the wildfires in West Texas, should another massive string of blazes erupt.

Nearly a month ago, firefighters throughout the state and nation worked to quell the fires that have now charred more than 2.6 million acres and counting.

Speaking on last week's edition of The Lead, Commerce Firefighter Josh Cato says his week-long deployment helped open his mind to new ideas for battling brush fires.

"Surprisingly the way that they handle wildfires and the way we handle brush fires are completely different," said Cato. "Out in that area, they come in with a helicopter, drop some water on a hill, the water runs down the hill, you mix the water in with mud, you put it on everything and put it out. Here we're used to flat land, pull in with a brush truck, put out the fire and we're gone within three to five hours at the longest."

Bruce Millard worked on the Rockhoue Fire in the Ft. Davis Mountains. He says the scene was unimaginable.

"I don't think you can prepare or picture in your mind what it would be like for a fire that is that big," Millard said. "Around here we have 50-100 acre fires. That's a big fire to us here. But I think the Rockhouse fire ended up being over 300,000 acres. So you can't really picture what that would be like."

The Commerce Fire Department served as part of a strike team consisting of personnel from Greenville, Plano and Wylie.

Hear last week's interview with Cato, Millard, Joe Littlefied and Joe Martello by clicking play above.