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LDAF firefighters to assist in Texas

June 30, 2009

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry firefighting crews will head to east Texas tomorrow to assist the Texas Forest Service with wildfires, Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said today.
Strain said the LDAF is able to assist with wildfires in Texas even though fire danger levels in Louisiana remain elevated. 
“Whenever we are requested to send manpower and equipment to assist other states, we do,” Strain said. “These men were selected from offices around Louisiana to maintain needed fire protection personnel and equipment for the state while we are assisting our neighbors. If conditions change in Louisiana, LDAF firefighting crews will return home immediately.”
The five LDAF crews are comprised of 13 specially trained wildland firefighters and their equipment.
Taskforce leaders Jeff Anders of Minden, Henry Childress of Watson and Brett Lane of Zachary, along with firefighters Prentice Slack of Rodessa, Roy Teutsch of Shangaloo, Benny Marcantel of Kinder, Joseph Tichy of Oakdale, Arron Lee of Folsom, Craig Gottschalck of Ponchatoula, Jason Moseley of Coushatta, Lloyd Savell of Florien, Randy Holmes of Greensburg and Justen Cornette of Clinton are expected to assist Texas Forestry officials for up to two weeks in the east Texas area.
In addition to fire crews, the LDAF is also sending five bulldozers that are used to dig fire lines to prevent the spread of wildfires.
Strain said the Texas Forest Service activated the South-Central and Southeastern Forest Fire Compact agreements which allow member states to assist in a variety of emergencies if they are able.
            This crew will remain on assignment in Texas for the next 14 days and then return to Louisiana. If the fire activity remains high in Texas, then the firefighters will be replaced with fresh crews.