July 15, 2014 – COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Imagine blazing fires ripping
through the forest while firefighters bravely fight back the flames to save
both lives and natural resources. The scene sounds like an action movie.
This is what the wildland firefighters of Texas A&M
Forest Service and other wildland firefighting agencies across the U.S. do whenever
they encounter a wildfire.
These heroic acts are now illustrated in Disney’s new
animated film, “Planes: Fire & Rescue.” The comedy-adventure follows a crew
of firefighting aircraft who are tasked with protecting the historic Piston
Peak National Park from wildfire. The team battles a devastating wildfire and learns
what it means to be heroes.
Something TFS employees know much about. According to the agency Director Tom Boggus,
TFS is a premier state agency in the nation. Comprised of over 400 employees,
all with servant hearts, TFS answers the call to help protect Texas.
“This film pays
tribute to all the brave wildland firefighters not only in Texas but around the
world,” said Boggus. “I’m excited that kids of all ages will get a glimpse of
the work they do to protect our forests and who knows, it just might inspire
some of them to become the wildland firefighters of tomorrow.”
Members of TFS and local firefighters will be at theaters
across the state to greet guests, pass out activity sheets for children, and
display dozers and other firefighting equipment. TFS will be at the following
locations opening weekend:
Pleasant Cinema 6, Mt. Pleasant; with the Pittsburg District firefighters
and Smokey Bear on July 18, 12:30 p.m. -
5 p.m. and July 19, 12:30 p.m. -
Theaters Lost Pines 8, Bastrop; with the Smithville taskforce firefighters
and Smokey Bear on July 18 at 5 p.m.
Carmike, Abilene; with the Merkel and Brownwood taskforce, and Smokey Bear
on July 18 at 2:30 p.m.
Cinema, Marshall; with ESD #3 Harrison County, Elysian Fields VFD, Caddo
USFW Waskom and Smokey Bear on July 18
at 2 p.m.
Theater, Wylie; with Wylie’s and Murphy’s fire departments on July 19 at 8:30 a.m.
Palladium IMAX, San Antonio; with the San Antonio FD Wildland Fire Division
and Smokey Bear on July 18 and 19 at
Cinema, Nacogdoches; with the Nacogdoches District firefighters and Smokey
Bear on July 18 and 19 at noon.
“This is a really
great opportunity to raise awareness about wildfires,” Karen Stafford, TFS
program coordinator said. “Kids will get to see some of the real-life dozers
from the movies and hopefully get a better understanding of the importance of
While TFS does not have its own suppression aircraft, the
agency is able to utilize helicopters and airtankers that are on contract with
federal wildland fire management agencies. The
agency also works with Texas Military Forces, who provide helicopters to drop
water and retardant ahead of a fire’s path.
Much like the Smokejumpers in the film – the fearless team of TFS ground
firefighters use dozers and hand tools to help contain wildfires.
Texas A&M Forest Service contacts:
Karen Stafford, Program Coordinator
Texas A&M Forest Service Communications