FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/25/2013
LEGISLATION TO BENEFIT THE TEXAS FOREST SERVICE DURING FIRE EMERGENCIES PASSES HOUSE
AUSTIN – Today, House Bill 2751, which relates to liability of certain persons assisting the Texas Forest Service (TFS) in fire suppression duties, passed the Texas House of Representatives with unanimous support. H.B. 2751 provides that employees and any outside labor hired by TFS will not be held liable for civil damages when fighting fires across Texas.
During the drought of 2011 it was apparent that resources were limited during periods of extreme fire activity, especially over the Labor Day weekend when numerous large fires exceeded the firefighting capacity of the Texas Forest Service, including the Angelina River Bottom (6,000 acres), Bastrop (34,000 acres), and Bear Creek (42,000 acres).
"H.B. 2751 is a significant tool to aid the Texas Forest Service to do its job as a front line defender against forest fires in Texas. With increased immunity for the Forest Service and its employees, I believe we are heading into this fire season much more prepared than we were two years ago," said Representative Travis Clardy.
The Senate companion to H.B. 2751 is Senate Bill 1267 and is authored by Senator Robert Nichols. S.B.1267 has already passed the Senate so the bill will now head to the Governor's desk.
Rep. Clardy is currently serving his first term as the State Representative for House District 11, which includes Cherokee, Nacogdoches, and Rusk Counties. Clardy is a member of the Higher Education, Local & Consent Calendars, and Special Purpose Districts Committees
Contact: Kelly Barnes