Archives for wildfire

Texas Wildfire September 6, 2011

In Texas wildfires in just the last week:

  • At least two people have perished.
  • At least 1,626 homes have been destroyed.
  • The Texas Forest Service has had to respond to 176 fires covering over 126,800 acres.

Our top priority is to ensure every claim we receive is handled quickly so that your clients can begin to rebuild their lives as soon as possible.

Together We Can Do Even More Though

iMGA will donate $10 to the central Texas chapter of the Red Cross for every new policy you write with us during the month of September. Simply issue the policy and make sure the down payment is applied between now and the end of the month to have your effort add $10 to the total.

In addition we will match all direct donations by any of our agents to the American Red Cross of Central Texas (up to $500 total) and we will make sure that our collective donations are earmarked for wildfire disaster relief.

Thank you very much for helping the fire victims in any way that you can.

Please help us make a big difference in as many lives as possible.



To those of our agents who have already made a donation and emailed us the receipt – THANK YOU!!!! To those who have not yet, there is still plenty of time – just make your donation and email us a copy of the receipt.


The following is from the great folks at the Texas Forest Service:

News Alert: Recovery workshop scheduled for those affected by Bearing wildfire

APPLE SPRINGS, Texas – Residents affected by the recent Bearing Fire in Trinity and Polk counties are invited to a natural resources recovery workshop Friday, July 22, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The meeting will be at Apple Springs School on FM 2501 in Apple Springs.

Discussion topics include timber salvage, forest and tree health, reforestation assistance, special use tax exemption status, claiming casualty loss on timber, wildlife habitat loss and protecting your home from future wildfires.

The 20,222-acre Bearing Fire – deemed the largest wildfire in East Texas history – is 100 percent contained, but not yet controlled.

Melanie Spradling
Wildland Urban Interface Specialist

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 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)

Taking a few important steps can make a huge difference in the threat a wild fire poses to your home.

House Fire With Firefighters

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ada Be

  1. All combustibles such as firewood, wooden picnic tables, boats and stacked lumber should be kept away from structures.
  2. Clear roof surfaces and gutters regularly to avoid build-up of flammable materials such as leaves and other debris.
  3. Remove branches from trees to a height of 15 feet or more.
  4. LPG tanks should be far enough away from buildings for valves to be shut off in case of fire. Keep area around the tank clear of flammable vegetation.
  5. Store gasoline in an approved safety can away from occupied buildings.
  6. In rural areas, clear a fuel break of at least three times the fuel length around all structures.
  7. Have fire tools handy such as: ladder long enough to reach your roof, shovel, rake and a bucket or two for water.
  8. Place connected garden hoses at all sides of your home for emergency use.

(Source: Texas Forest Service)

Of course nothing is as important as protecting yourself and your family.

Make sure you know the emergency exits from your home and your neighborhood and use them if you are ordered by officials, at all concerned, or in any way threatened by fire.

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