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Battle over Resources at Wildfire, Hurricane Preparedness Conference

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force,
C-130 aircraft are capable of dispersing over 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in under five seconds, according to the U.S. Air Force.

Thousands of emergency responders from across the state are convening to San Antonio for the three-day Texas Emergency Management Conference.  The conference and its workshops will focus on the relief efforts from last year’s drought and wildfires.  

Dry conditions and high winds still threaten numerous Texas counties still at risk of wildfires. The conference’s topics will range from lessons learned from the Bastrop County fires to how to better use social media in disaster relief efforts.

Gov. Rick Perry will give the conference’s keynote address. In addition to wildfires, Perry will talk about the potential decision by the Air Force to transfer a squad of C-130 planes from Fort Worth to Montana.

Perry and other Gulf Coast state governors signed off on a letter to President Obama in March against that proposal. In that letter, the governors stated a transfer of the C-130s “takes away a powerful airlift asset for saving the lives of Gulf Coast States citizens.”

The C-130s were used in several wildfire and hurricane disaster relief operations in 2011. The Air Force has yet to take action on the potential transfer.

For more on the Texas drought and subsequent wildfires, check out "Dried Out: Confronting the Texas Drought," an interactive web application from StateImpact Texas, KUT's reporting partnership with NPR. 

Daniel Guerra is an intern at KUT News
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