Governor Abbott Grants Temporary Waivers To Respond To Texas Wildfires

~ As wildfires continue to ravage across the state of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has taken action to support affected communities. Today, he granted waivers for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in order to provide necessary resources and remove potential obstacles to disaster recovery.

In a statement, Governor Abbott emphasized the urgency of the situation and the need for swift action. "Texas continues surging emergency response resources to fight rapidly expanding wildfires that are impacting Texans and communities across the state," he said. "By removing barriers to help Texans swiftly respond to this crisis, we will be able to serve more communities across our state that are being affected by these devastating wildfires."

The waivers granted by Governor Abbott include temporary suspensions of rules for TCEQ, TxDMV, and DPS. TCEQ's rules have been suspended in order to allow for efficient disposal of animal carcasses and remove potential obstacles to disaster recovery efforts. TxDMV's regulations related to commercial vehicle permitting requirements have also been temporarily suspended, including interstate vehicle registration, 72-hour and 144-hour temporary registration permitting, and oversize and overweight permitting. DPS's rules related to carriers conducting response and recovery efforts have also been temporarily suspended in order to allow additional hours without violating federal regulations and enhance lifesaving measures.

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These suspensions are limited in duration and restricted to the counties included in the Governor's disaster declaration. They aim to prevent any further hindrance or delay in Texas' ongoing response efforts.

Meanwhile, hundreds of state and local first responders are working tirelessly around the clock to contain multiple wildfires across the Texas Panhandle. The largest recorded wildfire in Texas history, estimated at 1,075,000 acres, is currently burning in Hutchinson County as part of the Smokehouse Creek Fire.

As wildfire activity is expected to increase over the next few days, Texans are urged to follow directions from officials and take precautions to prevent any sparks or flames. They can also visit for wildfire tips, for safety information, and to report any damages caused by the wildfires.

Currently, there are several active wildfires in Texas, including the Grape Vine Creek Fire in Gray County estimated at 30,000 acres and 60% contained, the Smokehouse Creek Fire in Hutchinson County estimated at 1,075,000 acres and 3% contained (which has merged with the 687 Reamer Fire), the Windy Deuce Fire in Moore County estimated at 142,000 acres and 30% contained, and the Magenta Fire in Oldham County estimated at 2,500 acres and 65% contained.

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Governor Abbott's swift action in granting these waivers demonstrates his commitment to supporting Texans and communities impacted by these devastating wildfires. The state agencies involved are working tirelessly to provide necessary resources and support during this time of crisis. The Governor also expressed his gratitude towards the brave firefighters and emergency response personnel who continue to serve on the frontlines.

Filed Under: Government, State

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