Abbott visits Medina County amid wildfire
Governor Greg Abbott visited Medina County earlier this afternoon, receiving a briefing from state and local officials regarding fire activity in the county and amending his disaster declaration regarding fire activity throughout Texas to include Medina County.
Abbott was joined by Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd and local officials. During the press conference, the Governor also amended the disaster declaration in response to fire activity throughout Texas to include Medina County.
Shelter is available for Texans who have been evacuated or lost their homes as a result of the fire. The shelter is currently at Loma Alta Middle School, but emergency officials will be providing a new location later today.
"The State of Texas continues to collaborate with local officials on the ground and respond to fire activity to keep Texans safe," said Abbott. "Thank you to our first responders and emergency response personnel who are working tirelessly to protect communities impacted by fire activity. As we continue to address fire activity, I encourage Texans to remain weather-aware and continue to heed the guidance from local officials to keep their loved ones safe. I ask that Texans join the First Lady and me in praying for those affected by the fires and severe weather that has impacted many parts of the state."
During a press conference, the Governor noted 19 state agencies and over 200 firefighters are currently involved in responding to this disaster. The Governor also mentioned local officials are working to improve the conditions so electricity can be restored to the homes not damaged in the area.
Three homes have been lost during the fire and 37 others have been threatened, according to a release from Abbott’s office.
Officials with the Texas Wildfire Incident Response system say the Medina County Fire, dubbed Das Goat, was 20 percent contained and was spread as of late Saturday evening. An update regarding containment has not been released as of this publication.
Das Goat, which originated Friday afternoon, originated from a burning car, according to officials and as of Saturday has encompassed nearly 1,000 acres.
During the press conference, the Governor also encouraged impacted communities to complete TDEM’s Self Reporting Damage Survey, which will help the state identify and understand damages.
According to a press release, this data is also needed to provide information to FEMA to determine the state's eligibility and highlight the need for federal disaster assistance for individuals.
The voluntary survey can be accessed at damage.tdem.texas.gov.
Reporting damage to TDEM is a voluntary activity, is not a substitute for reporting damage to an insurance agency, and does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.
Medina County residents can also visit medinacountytexas.org to access current details and to sign up for emergency alerts and information.
Last week, Governor Abbott directed TDEM to increase the readiness level of the State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) and increase resources to respond to elevated and critical risks for wildfires in Texas, including central and southern sectors.
Many regions of Texas remain under a high to extreme elevated fire risk due to high winds, low humidity, and drought conditions. Texans are encouraged to remain weather-aware and practice wildfire safety, particularly in areas where burn bans are active, to keep their communities safe.