Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2012 Vol. 59 No. 8

WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS

Pensacola Airport

Just over one year ago, massive wildfires burned across Bastrop County.   Those flames went on to destroy tens of thousands of acres, burn more than 1.5 million trees, almost 1,700 homes and kill two people.  Recovery continues with more than $63 million in disaster assistance provided to date. 

Recovery plans include reforestation of six thousand acres, along with 14,000 acres of grazing land, where many ranchers were forced to sell off their livestock. Fourteen million pine tree seedlings will be planted during the next five years.  Of the 1,700 homes destroyed about 30 percent have been rebuilt.

With the ongoing threat of drought and the blazing Texas heat, wildfires continue to be a threat. During National Preparedness month, Texans should review their plans for all disaster threats, including wildfires which often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees, and homes. Being prepared reduces risk before wildfire strikes.

Bastrop photo

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Check with your county judge for current burn bans.
  • Be aware when grilling on wooden decks or in dry grass.
  • Keep water handy in case of fire.
  • When transporting portable pits, be sure the fire is extinguished.
  • Crush smoking materials flat.
  • Remember your vehicle’s exhaust system can ignite a fire when driving or stopped on dry grass.
  • Report all fires immediately to 911


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