Message From The Chief
It’s hard to think about wildfires in Texas without reliving images of the 2011 wildfire season. The drought conditions that helped spawn those wildfires then still exist in large areas of the state today. This should have everyone on alert and stepping up preparedness for the threat for potential wildfires. And, as always, awareness is the first step to preparedness.
As a firefighter, I can’t stress enough how important wildfire awareness and safety is for all Texans, whether you live in rural communities or on the edge of town. According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, people start 95 percent of all wildfires in Texas, and over 80 percent of those wildfires occur within two miles of a community. When the conditions are right, it doesn’t take much for a tossed cigarette, a hot exhaust, an unwatched campfire or a number of other things to ignite a major wildfire.
Wildfire Awareness Week in Texas is April 6 – 10, 2015. Take time now to make or update your Wildfire Action Plan and to make sure that you, your family and your community are ready to act in the event of a wildfire.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management coordinates with the Texas A&M Forest Service and with other local and state agencies to ensure that resources across the state are available and ready to respond quickly when wildfires break out.
But, with your help, awareness efforts can go far to prevent these incidents. Follow the links below and use the materials available at these websites to help you develop your own local public awareness campaigns and to help boost citizen involvement against the serious threat that wildfires pose to Texas’ forests, grasslands, farms, ranches and communities.
Speaking of important events …
Don’t forget to register for the 2015 Texas Emergency Management Conference, which will be held Tuesday, May 12 through Friday, May 15, 2015, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.
Information about the conference can be found by visiting the 2015 Texas Emergency Management Conference webpage.
Take the time to invest in you and the future of your community. I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio.
Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM® TEM