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Fire Departments, Red Cross Asking For Your Help During Wildfire Season

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North Texas firefighters and American Red Cross volunteers were in Central Texas Tuesday doing what they could to help those in need.  Meanwhile, local fire officials were asking for your help to keep the Metroplex safe from wildfires, and the American Red Cross was asking for volunteers and donations.

Dallas Fire Rescue sent a strike crew of 10 firefighters and five trucks to the front lines in Bastrop.

“We also have firefighters that are out there being exhausted as well, and smaller fire departments, you send out just enough units and that can deplete their entire supply," said Jason Evans, spokesman for Dallas Fire Rescue.

More than two dozen American Red Cross volunteers were also in the region.

“We provide first and foremost shelter.  We need to get people out of harm’s way.  And then once they’re in the shelter, we make sure that they’re well fed, we make sure that they have clothing, because some people left with just the clothes on their back," said Leslie Palmer, CEO of the North Texas American Red Cross.
Palmer said the Red Cross needed two things.

“The Red Cross depends on volunteers, so if people want to volunteer, we would love to have you come and help your neighbor," Palmer told The 33 News.  “We need support financially.  Anything that anyone would like to do, you can text 90999 to make a $10 contribution to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.”
For Dallas Fire Rescue, they have multiple Wildland Urban Interface Teams that are on standby to fight fires closer to home.

“We do have open land.  And a fire that occurs on an interstate, in a median, can occur just as easily as those in the wildland area," said Evans.
Evans urged all North Texans to water their lawns and be careful with cigarettes.

“Though we’re on tight water restrictions in a large area of the city, we’d like to encourage the residents of Dallas to keep their yards as moist as possible," Evans told The 33 News.  “We’d encourage residents not to flick cigarette butts out of their cars or wherever they are onto anything that could light up.”

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun