Jan. 29, 2013 – FORT DAVIS, Texas – Texas A&M
Forest Service firefighters next week will begin removing potentially hazardous
vegetation around the Davis Mountains Resort in an effort to reduce risks
facing the wildfire-prone community.
Beginning Monday, Feb. 4, state firefighters
will use chainsaws and other hand tools to create a shaded fuel break along
local roads that are used as evacuation routes during emergencies. Local
firefighters will assist with traffic control in the areas where crews are
Breaks are used to help stop or slow
down wildfires by removing the vegetation, which serves as fuel for the fire. A
shaded fuel break often is constructed in a forested area, where trees are
thinned and pruned but retain some canopy. Such a break can help keep surface
fires from spreading into tree tops, which increases fire intensity.
“This project will help create a safer
working environment for firefighters in the event of a wildfire,” said Phillip
Truitt, a wildland urban interface specialist with Texas A&M Forest
Service. “And if a fire did occur, the fuel break would provide a means of
egress for Davis Mountains Resort residents.”
Nestled in far West Texas, the Davis
Mountains Resort area is no stranger to wildfire. In April 2011, it was threatened
by the Rockhouse Fire, which was deemed one of the largest blazes in state
history after it scorched more than 300,000 acres in Jeff Davis and Presidio
Less than two months later, the
12,000-acre Tejano Canyon Fire threatened 200 homes in the Davis Mountains Resort.
Wildfire threatened the scenic area once again in May 2012 when the Livermore
Ranch Complex burned charred more than 23,000 acres.
Community residents began working with
Texas A&M Forest Service a couple of years ago with a goal of becoming
Firewise, a national designation bestowed on communities that actively work to
reduce wildfire risks. To earn Firewise status, communities must assess the
hazards in their community, form a committee, develop an action plan and hold a
community work day.
Advisory: A Media Day allowing reporters a
chance to get an up-close look at the equipment and work being done is
scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Davis Mountains Retreat Campground
off Tomahawk Trail. Officials with Texas A&M Forest Service and Davis
Mountains Resort will be available for interviews.
Phillip Truitt, Wildland Urban Interface Specialist
(325) 326-2326, email@example.com
April Saginor, Communications
(979) 458-6619, firstname.lastname@example.org