Texas A&M Forest Service assigns a high priority to year-round wildfire prevention and other efforts that reduce hazardous conditions and risks to citizens and property. To be effective, these efforts must be based on local assessments and initiated prior to a developing fire season. Local involvement when designing and delivering these programs is also essential.
When Texas was largely unsettled, wildfires destroyed natural resources and wildlife habitat but had relatively little impact on people. Today, as Texas’ population continues to grow, many homes, subdivisions and businesses lie within or near previously undeveloped areas of grass, brush and forests. As a result, nearly every wildfire carries an increased risk for damage or destruction of homes and other improved property – and even loss of lives.
Texas Forest Service has identified 14,506 communities as being at risk for wildland fire. Surprisingly, many populated areas are more at risk, due to the increased number of human-caused fires.
People and their activities cause more than 90 percent of all wildfires in the state. Careless debris burning (of household trash, brush and leaf piles, garden spots, etc.) results in the largest number of human-caused wildfires. Other significant wildfire causes include sparks from welding and grinding equipment, carelessly discarded smoking materials, hot vehicle pollution control equipment and arson.
Texas A&M Forest Service assigns a high priority to year-round wildfire prevention activities that reduce risks to citizens and property. Because wildfires in Texas primarily result from the actions of people, wildfire prevention campaigns targeting people-caused wildfires can significantly reduce the number of wildfires -- and wildfire losses. A three-step approach to fire prevention can focus prevention efforts.
Texas A&M Forest Service prevention specialists use radio, TV, print and web-based products along with local outreach programs to increase wildfire awareness and deliver fire safety messages keyed to local fire causes. Local involvement when designing and delivering these programs is essential. Texas A&M Forest Service also works with local and county officials to keep them informed of fire danger and the likelihood of large damaging wildfires. The Texas A&M Forest Service bases its fire prevention efforts on local assessments and analysis of fire risks and works to implement prevention campaigns prior to specific weather-related events or a developing fire season.
Burn Ban Flag Unsafe debris burningSafety tips to prevent wildland fireOther relevant fire prevention web sites