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LDAF wildland firefighters assist in Texas

April 29, 2009

A second group of Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry firefighting strike teams traveled to Granbury, Texas, to assist the Texas Forest Service with wildfires, Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said today.
The two LDAF strike teams are comprised of 14 specially trained wildland firefighters and their equipment. They will battle wildfires by constructing fire breaks.
Strike Team leaders Jeff Anders of Minden and Henry Childress of Watson along with crew members Michael Tradewell of Jena; Stephen Honeycutt of Grayson; Darryl Anthony of Florien; Carlos Poole of Minden; Gary Horne of Haughton; David Perkins of DeRidder; Brandon Strickland of Anacoco; David Redmond of Greensburg; Jay Meadows of Kentwood; Craig Gottschalck of Ponchatoula; James Lee of Folsom; and Richard Dunn of West Monroe left for Texas on April 26. They are expected to assist Texas Forestry officials for up to two weeks in the west Texas area.
“Whenever we are requested to send manpower and equipment to assist other states, we do,” Strain said. “At the same time we are sending help to Texas, we make sure Louisiana is sufficiently protected from wildfire.”

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. 
The 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 strike teams will be replaced with fresh crews.