Planes and bulldozers brought in to take on wildfires - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Planes and bulldozers brought in to take on wildfires

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

Fire crews were on high alert as severe wildfire conditions spanned across the Panhandle.

On days with the combination of high winds, low humidity and warm temperatures, the Texas A&M Forest Service readies more equipment and personnel.

Four bulldozers and two airplanes were on standby to assist any local fire department.

Wildfires require fuel, heat and oxygen to burn and spread. 

In a major fire, bulldozers are used to push flammable brush out of the fire's path, thereby removing the fuel.

Today two airplanes loaded with 800 gallons of fire retardant were dispatched to a fire in Oldham County.

"Today, we have a potential for serious wildfires that we haven't seen in a while," said Texas A&M's Regional Fire Coordinator, Troy Ducheneaux. "These conditions warrant extra manpower and extra equipment."

The planes used for putting out wildfires are known as Single Engine Air Tankers or SEATs.

Jim Watson has been a been flying one of these SEATs for 13 years and said when he flies on days like today, the main goal is to limit the damage.

"A lot of times we try and anchor into some point like a road, from there we take it up one of the flanks to gradually pinch off the head," said Watson. "We can attack the head but it is not effective in high strong winds like we have today."

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