More than 3 million acres of Texas land and hundreds of homes have burned since wildfire season started on Nov. 15, 2010. You can make a big difference, though, in several ways:
Don’t Cause a Fire
Most Texas counties are experiencing severe drought. Especially this weekend, remember that just a little spark can start a massive wildfire.
The Texas Forest Service continues to urge caution when it comes to any outdoor activity that can cause a spark – from outdoor grilling or building a campfire to parking a car on dry grass or shooting celebratory fireworks in approved areas. More than 90 percent of Texas wildfires are caused by humans, with the most frequent cause being debris burning.
While we’re facing these drought conditions, don’t use fireworks and don’t burn debris.
Learn about Restoration
The Texas Forest Service performs many valuable services including seminars such as these which are given throughout the state. Keep an eye on their website for seminars in your area.
For example, landowners in Hardin and Tyler counties who have been affected by recent wildfires are invited to a workshop July 7 to learn how to restore their land in the aftermath of a disaster.
“We want to let citizens know what resources are available to them as they recover from these tragic wildfires,” said Carrie Smith, a forester with Texas Forest Service.
The informational “After the Fire” workshop will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at the Wildwood Meeting Hall, 2201 Button Willow, Wildwood, Texas.
Representatives from partnering agencies – Texas Forest Service, Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department, Big Thicket National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas AgriLife Extension Service and The Campbell Group – will be on hand to help answer questions.
Topics include planting, arson awareness, assistance from NRCS and “Firewise” safety principles. Similar workshops are being held in other areas around the state as well. See https://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/main/default.aspx for more details.
Donate to the Cause
You can help the volunteer fire departments that have been battling the devastating 2011 wildfires by donating directly to the volunteer fire department of your choice.
The great folks at the Texas Forest Service have established the VFD Emergency Assistance Fund to help volunteer fire departments. Donations are tax deductible and can be earmarked for particular departments, counties or regions. ALL proceeds (yes, the full 100 percent of every donation) will be distributed to volunteer fire departments via grants for firefighting expenses.
Checks should be made payable to Texas Forest Service. Indicate the specific department, region or county department that you’d like to support on the check.
Donations can be mailed to:
Texas Forest Service
John B. Connally Building
301 Tarrow, Ste. 421
College Station, Texas 77840-7896
If you have additional questions about how you can help, email HelpingTexas (at) tfs.tamu.edu.