Fire Officials Explain Aid Agreement Importance Following 1200-Acre Blaze

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SARITA – Mutual aid agreements and the participation of several Rio Grande Valley fire departments helped extinguish a 1200-acre brush fire in the rural parts of Kenedy County Thursday night.

Kenedy County has a remarkably low population, with 406 residents in the last census. The county's largest characteristic is the large ranches that surround Highway 77.

Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider said the fire, which started Wednesday, started around an idling vehicle with its catalytic converter catching the grass on fire.

Kenedy County has a small fire department. In order to extinguish the blaze more quickly, several Valley fire departments sent units to help.

Snider explained how one mutual aid organization, called the Wildland Task Force, groups all Hidalgo County fire into a combined response unit.

By including more fire departments, he said, each individual city is able to send a smaller unit to fight a fire outside of town. It leaves more resources available to fight sudden fires in the cities.

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