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North Texas Firefighters Helping Fight Central Texas Wildfires

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NORTH TEXAS (KRLD) - Dry conditions and unseasonably hot weather across Texas mean wildfires are a real threat.

Central Texas firefighters, battling a blaze in Bastrop County, have sounded the call for help to fire departments here in North Texas.

Lieutenant Kyle Faulkner, with the Fort Worth Fire Department, said, "It doesn't take much of a fire in these conditions to overtax the local department."

A team of Fort Worth, Arlington, and Southlake firefighters left on Wednesday heading toward central Texas.

"At this point they're a pre-deployed unit, and will be close and available when they're needed," says Faulkner. "Given the high wildfire danger, we were requested to form up this strike team."

Fort Worth is one of several statewide fire departments that are part of Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System. The group was formed to strategically mobilize systems and make good use of state and local resources, i.e. for circumstances just like these.

"Having this mutual aid system, it lets us pool all our resources statewide," explained Faulkner. "We're glad to be able to help our neighbors."

The North Texas crew has supplies for a seven-day deployment. If the fire continues, another crew will be sent to relieve them.

The Bastrop fire has burned more than 4,000 acres since Tuesday. Officials in Bastrop County say some neighborhoods have been evacuated and that it could take days to bring the flames under control.

Dallas Fire Rescue is also sending help and resources to Bastrop. Members of Wildland Urban Interface Team will deploy today.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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