(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry will not attend the Palmetto Freedom Forum of GOP candidates Monday night, sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint, and will instead return to Texas to deal with the wildfires in the state, DeMint and the Perry campaign told CNN.
The South Carolina senator's office said they learned of Perry's plans not to attend the Columbia, South Carolina event Monday morning.
"The Governor is in close contact with emergency operations officials regarding fires in Texas, including calls with his emergency management chief this morning," Perry's campaign communications secretary Ray Sullivan told CNN. "Governor Perry is cancelling the remainder of his South Carolina schedule today (including DeMint Fourm) and his California schedule tomorrow in order to return to Texas ASAP."
Six declared presidential candidates, including Perry were scheduled to participate in the Forum, led by DeMint, a leading voice in the tea party movement.
Perry will now fly back to Texas after participating in a town hall in Conway, South Carolina Monday morning. He has also canceled a trip to California Tuesday, according to Mark Miner, national press secretary for the campaign.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.