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Wildfires burning in neighboring Palo Pinto County have prompted County Judge Mark Riley to issue a Disaster Declaration for Parker County.
More than 55,000 acres have been burned and 30 structures have been destroyed in Palo Pinto County.
Riley said Parker County’s Commissioners are each sending equipment, including two water trucks, two track loaders and two graders to cut fire lines in hopes of stopping or slowing the fires.
Riley contacted Palo Pinto County Judge David Nicklas on Friday, April 15 offering equipment to assist with the fires should the need arise.
Parker County’s Mobile Command Vehicle has been on the scene providing assistance since Friday and the county is also assisting with manpower using the county’s Wildland Strike Team.
“This fire is the worst I have ever witnessed,” Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott said. “Our strike team has saved over a dozen homes already.”
Riley said helping a neighboring county is the right thing to do.
"In times of disasters we are always willing to assist a neighboring county, just as they would do for us,” he said. “We also have all of our first responders on alert in the event we have fires break out here in Parker County.”
Parker County’s disaster declaration allows the county to expend resources to protect life and property.
While there is a countywide burn ban, common sense dictates no activities outdoors that would create sparks or flames. Cigarettes should be extinguished and not thrown out of car windows.
The text of the disaster declaration reads:
DECLARATION OF DISASTER FOR PARKER COUNTY
WHEREAS the County of Parker on the 18th day of April 2011 is under imminent threat
of severe damage, injury or loss of life or property resulting from:
THE THREAT OF WILDFIRES THAT HAVE BURNED OVER 55,000 ACRES AND
OVER 30 STRUCTURES IN PALO PINTO COUNTY WHICH BORDERS PARKER
COUNTY TO THE WEST; and
WHEREAS THE COUNTY JUDGE of Parker County has determined that extraordinary
measures must be taken to prevent those fires from spreading into Parker County,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED BY THE COUNTY JUDGE OF PARKER
1. That a local state of disaster is hereby proclaimed for Parker County pursuant to §
418.108(a) of the Texas Government Code.
2. Pursuant to §418.1 08(b) of the Government Code, this Declaration of a local state of
disaster shall continue for a period of not more than seven days from the date of this
declaration unless continued for renewed by the Commissioners Court of Parker
3. Pursuant to §418.1 08(c) of the Government Code, this Declaration of a local state of
disaster shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with
the County Clerk of Parker County.
4. Pursuant to §418.1 08(d) of the Government Code, this Declaration of a local state of
disaster activates the Parker County Emergency Management Plan.
This Proclamation shall take effect immediately from and after its issuance, ORDERED
THIS THE 18th DAY OF April 2011.
(s) Mark Riley, County Judge