Billy Whitworth

Regional Fire Coordinators (RFC) are supervisory employees that respond to wildfires as well as interact regularly with the community and local government. RFCs also help train and equip area fire departments and work with local communities to reduce potential wildfire risks.

The role of the Incident Response Department is to insure the rapid and effective  response of appropriate resources, as needed, to suppress and extinguish wildfires in Texas. Rapid initial response to wildland fires is essential to suppress wildfires during  high fire danger conditions, limit losses and provide for the safety of emergency  responders and citizens. In addition, TFS is often requested to respond to all-hazard  incidents that affect the state.

Agency planning personnel work with risk assessment/predictive services to determine the needed preparedness levels.  Based on this, personnel and equipment are pre-positioned in areas of the state deemed to be at risk before the fires start.  The structure is flexible; based on the current fire risk and occurrence; and involves local, state, federal and contract resources.  Regional Fire Coordinators are stationed around the state to manage fire response in their areas.and any additional resources that are moved to that area in preparation for wildfire activity.

Wildfires are fast-moving and dangerous.  Anything that reduces response times and uncertainty on the fire line also reduces losses and increases safety.

Even a moderately sized wildfire may involve from two to 10 fire departments, numerous pieces of county equipment, local law enforcement, emergency medical services and resources from Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas National Guard, Governor’s Division of Emergency Management and multiple out-of-state cooperators.

All of these responders need to be organized before the fire starts to maximize safety and effectiveness.

Statewide, a fire season can easily involve hundreds of pieces of equipment and thousands of firefighters. Good planning and preparedness allows for a more effective and faster response, thereby reducing both losses and suppression cost.  

Current Texas A&M Forest Services activities in these areas include:

E-mail alerts to local fire departments on days with red flag or high fire danger conditions

The statewide designation and use of three shared radio frequencies for local fire departments and state responders.

  •  Common wildfire and emergency management training for local, state and national firefighters
  •  Pre-positioning of essential supplies
  •  Repositioning and management of available resources based on current fire risk



Contact Billy Whitworth

Contact Billy Whitworth

Texas A&M Forest Service
Asst. Chief - East Branch
155 Texas Forest Service Loop
Lufkin, Texas  75904-7407
Phone: (936) 875-4400
Cell Phone: (936) 546-3150


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Anderson County, Texas
  • Angelina County, Texas
  • Bowie County, Texas
  • Camp County, Texas
  • Cass County, Texas
  • Childress County, Texas
  • Delta County, Texas
  • Franklin County, Texas
  • Gregg County, Texas
  • Hardin County, Texas
  • Harrison County, Texas
  • Henderson County, Texas
  • Hopkins County, Texas
  • Houston County, Texas
  • Jasper County, Texas
  • Jefferson County, Texas
  • Lamar County, Texas
  • Marion County, Texas
  • Morris County, Texas
  • Nacogdoches County, Texas
  • Newton County, Texas
  • Orange County, Texas
  • Panola County, Texas
  • Polk County, Texas
  • Rains County, Texas
  • Red River County, Texas
  • Rusk County, Texas
  • Sabine County, Texas
  • San Augustine County, Texas
  • San Jacinto County, Texas
  • Shelby County, Texas
  • Smith County, Texas
  • Titus County, Texas
  • Trinity County, Texas
  • Tyler County, Texas
  • Upshur County, Texas
  • Van Zandt County, Texas
  • Wood County, Texas