By Geena Martinez
FORT STOCKTON - Even with the recent rainfall we've seen in parts of the Basin, the threat of wildfire still looms. But West Texas is getting a helping hand when it comes to fighting wildfires.
After more than two years in the making, the brand new emergency services facility is finally open in Fort Stockton and the Texas Forest Service is moving in.
"We're gonna be able to support and train and protect the citizens of not only Pecos County and Fort Stockton but the whole Trans-Pecos area, the whole West Texas region," Texas Forest Service State Director, Tom Boggus, said.
Along with the Fort Stockton Fire Department and Pecos County Sheriff's Office, the Forest Service will have equipment and six employees staged full time at the building.
Boggus, a Fort Stockton native, said this will have a huge impact on massive wildfire threats, especially in mountainous areas.
The brand new facility will also act as a command post for any type of disaster, and when it comes to response time, location is everything.
"With wildfires, time makes all the difference in the world so we'll be able to respond sooner and from a closer area," Boggus said.
"They can also fly those big tankers in and out of the Pecos County Airport," Pecos County Judge, Joe Shuster, said. "You cut off that 20 or 30 or 40 minutes flying time there, hopefully we can save a few more acres and a few more structures."
In the past, the closest Forest Service station was in Midland.
Shuster said neighboring counties are glad to have help nearby.
"Brewster county, Jeff Davis County, Presidio County, they're excited about having this aid in the neighborhood," Shuster said.