Updates & Blog

Southern states send wildfire support to Oklahoma, Texas

Wildfire flames in Oklahoma

Media Contact:
Chelsea Ealum
Director of Communications
Southern Group of State Foresters

State forestry agencies from across the Southeast are sending responders to support wildfire suppression in Oklahoma and Texas.

OKLAHOMA, TEXAS | The U.S. South, still reeling from an unprecedented surge in wildfires in 2023, is already feeling the effects of yet another year of anticipated wildfire extremes. This week, wildfires have wreaked havoc in the Plains of Oklahoma and Texas, including the Smokehouse Creek Fire, which is now the largest wildfire in Texas history. In response, state forestry agencies and partners across the Southeast have been sending resources to support strategic wildfire response in impacted areas. The South Central Forest Fire Protection Compact was also activated late last night, enabling participating state forestry agencies, through special congressional authority, to send wildland firefighting resources and personnel quickly and efficiently across state lines.

“The weekend ahead will likely bring increased wildfire activity, so positioning wildland firefighters and support personnel in critical areas will be essential for effective wildfire response,” said Jim Prevette, Fire Director for the Southern Group of State Foresters. “Interagency and cross-boundary support is key as we continue to experience escalating wildfire conditions this year. As a region, we are working together to ensure that our folks are primed for a strong regional response as soon as the call comes in.”

While State Foresters continue to monitor conditions to ensure their states have adequate staffing and resources to respond to wildfires and emergencies within their home states, the South Central Compact provides a ready system for sharing overhead resources and state-to-state reimbursement for wildfire support.

For more information about wildfires in the South, visit the SGSF Wildland Fire Management webpage or contact your local state forestry agency.


The Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation representing state forestry agencies within the 13 southeastern United States, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. SGSF members collectively provide leadership, coordination, expertise and resources to sustain the economic, environmental, health and societal benefits of southern forests. This includes the delivery of regional support needed to address existing and emerging issues related to sustainable forest management, forest health, water resources, urban and community forestry, forest product markets, wildfire protection, conservation education and disaster response.