Rhea Cooper

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 Rhea Cooper

Contact Rhea Cooper

Texas A&M Forest Service
Asst. Chief - North Branch
6521 Bluebonnet Parkway, 403D
McGregor, Texas  76657
Phone: (254) 840-9086
Cell Phone: (979) 218-3105


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Bell County, Texas
  • Bosque County, Texas
  • Collin County, Texas
  • Cooke County, Texas
  • Coryell County, Texas
  • Dallas County, Texas
  • Denton County, Texas
  • Ellis County, Texas
  • Erath County, Texas
  • Falls County, Texas
  • Fannin County, Texas
  • Freestone County, Texas
  • Grayson County, Texas
  • Hamilton County, Texas
  • Hill County, Texas
  • Hood County, Texas
  • Hunt County, Texas
  • Johnson County, Texas
  • Kaufman County, Texas
  • Limestone County, Texas
  • McLennan County, Texas
  • Milam County, Texas
  • Mills County, Texas
  • Navarro County, Texas
  • Palo Pinto County, Texas
  • Parker County, Texas
  • Rockwall County, Texas
  • San Saba County, Texas
  • Somervell County, Texas
  • Tarrant County, Texas
  • Wise County, Texas