EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Because of dry conditions and low humidity firefighters across the Rio Grande Valley are tackling wildfires.

Current conditions are posing a threat to the RGV, particularly in Hidalgo County where officials recently declared a state of emergency. Some first responders discuss how they are tackling these wildfires and the resources at their disposal.

The Edinburg Fire Department is one of the many crews battling the blazes and Fire Chief Shawn Snider is using all available resources. 

“In the last seven weeks, we’ve seen more grass fires and brush fires, ultimately involving houses catching on fire, vehicles catching on fire than any given time in the last two years.” Snider goes on to say, “we have five brush trucks, we have three tankers and we are getting another tanker this year.”

Snider said the Houston Fire Department has also been coming down in the past few weeks to lend a hand. 

“There was another crew, they were here for two weeks, and we replaced them. We’ve been here one week so we have a week to go and then more guys will replace us,” said Travis Hobbs, Engine Boss trainee for the Houston Fire Department. 

As both fire crews work together to contain the wildfires, Hobbs said when it comes to fighting wildfires sometimes crews have to light a fire by using a drip torch. 

“What we do with that is we will burn the fuel that the wildfire wants to consume, maybe along a road or somewhere we can hold that fire at.” Hobbs adds they also use a chainsaw, “you see that is going to be used to cut things, trees before they burn, sometimes we need to clear out brush.”

However, one of the first things fire crews do when tackling a wildfire is create a strategy. 

“If there are vehicles in the pathway it takes on a different format, then open rangeland. Open rangeland is literally to get at the back of the fire and cut off the front of the fire,” said Snider. 

Edinburg’s fire crew consists of 70 firefighters and 40 volunteers and for these crews, rest has been limited in the past couple of weeks because of the wildfires. 

“We’ve had days here in the past seven weeks that have gone greater than 24 hours straight.” Snider says, “there are times where you get tired, you rest in between, so today we’re resting in between and getting prepared for the next one.”

Snider urges the public to stay aware of their property to help prevent the start and spread of wildfires. 

“If you live in an area that has high grass around your property, mow it back,” said Snider. 

He added people shouldn’t burn their trash outside and not toss cigarettes near brush.