Texas A&M Forest Service at Planes premiere
Imagine blazing fires ripping through the forest while firefighters bravely fight back the flames to save both lives and natural resources. The scene sounds like an action movie.
This is what the wildland firefighters of Texas A&M Forest Service and other wildland firefighting agencies across the U.S. do whenever they encounter a wildfire.
These heroic acts are now illustrated in Disney’s new animated film, “Planes: Fire & Rescue.” The comedy-adventure follows a crew of firefighting aircraft who are tasked with protecting the historic Piston Peak National Park from wildfire. The team battles a devastating wildfire and learns what it means to be heroes.
Something TFS employees know much about.
According to the agency Director Tom Boggus, TFS is a premier state agency in the nation. Comprised of over 400 employees, all with servant hearts, TFS answers the call to help protect Texas.
“This film pays tribute to all the brave wildland firefighters not only in Texas but around the world,” said Boggus. “I’m excited that kids of all ages will get a glimpse of the work they do to protect our forests and who knows, it just might inspire some of them to become the wildland firefighters of tomorrow.”
July 19 members of TFS, local firefighters and Smokey Bear will be at the Wylie 12 Theater to greet guests, pass out activity sheets for children, and display dozers and other firefighting equipment.
“This is a really great opportunity to raise awareness about wildfires,” Karen Stafford, TFS program coordinator said. “Kids will get to see some of the real-life dozers from the movies and hopefully get a better understanding of the importance of preventing wildfires.”
According to Resource Specialist Steve Deffibaugh, it is very fitting for Disney to have a movie relating to wildland fires.
In the 1940s when a campaign to educate citizens about forest fire prevention first started, Disney provided the character Bambi to be the first “spokesperson” to educate people about preventing fires outdoors.
While TFS does not have its own suppression aircraft, the agency is able to utilize helicopters and air tankers that are on contract with federal wildland fire management agencies. The agency also works with Texas Military Forces, who provide helicopters to drop water and retardant ahead of a fire’s path.
Much like the Smokejumpers in the film – the fearless team of TFS ground firefighters use dozers and hand tools to help contain wildfires.
Call the Wylie 12 Theater at 903-455-5400 for show times.