Service Fire Crews Ready for Busy Fire Season on Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts
Spring drought conditions along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf coasts persisted through June, resulting in high fire danger and a quick start to the 2005 fire season.
In response, the Texas Chenier Plain Refuge Complex and Sabine National Wildlife Refuge jointly requested and received severity funding in June and a helicopter has been stationed at Sabine NWR, adding to firefighting resources. On June 21, crews and the ship responded to a 254-acre wildfire on and adjacent to the North Unit of McFaddin NWR, which ended up damaging seismic survey equipment valued at more than $35,000. At month's end, the fire is contained but still smoldering in deep peat soils.
In May, Service fire staff assisted Sea Rim State Park employees in suppressing a 350-acre wildfire - again adjacent to McFaddin NWR. In April, the Refuge Complex fire staff, with the assistance of Anahuac NWR refuge staff, the Texas General Land Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Environmental Protection Agency conducted a burn on a 1.3-acre oil spill on the Roberts-Mueller tract of Anahuac NWR. This burn was conducted to combust crude oil that was threatening large concentrations of migrating shorebirds.
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