April 19, 2012 – LUFKIN, Texas – Wildfires can be dangerous and unpredictable. When conditions are right, these massive, unforgiving blazes can race across entire towns in minutes, leaving nothing but smoldering ruins in their wake.
Even seasoned firefighters can sometimes find themselves facing potentially-deadly situations – especially when they’re battling some of the biggest and most devastating fires in state history, as they were last year.
That’s why safety is important. It doesn’t matter if you’re a wildland firefighter working to extinguish a blaze or a dogged reporter trying to provide needed information to your community. We want everyone to go home safe at the end of the day.
To help keep journalists safe, Texas Forest Service is unveiling Media Safety: Reporting from the Fireline, a workshop and field day that aims to show you how to stay safe when reporting on wildfires.
The workshop and field day is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at the Texas Forest Service Hudson Complex, 155 Texas Forest Service Loop, Lufkin.
Throughout the day, journalists will learn about wildfire safety – and get an inside look at how the agency fights wildfires.
Reporters will suit up in personal protective equipment while they learn how to deploy a life-saving fire shelter. They’ll also learn how dozers and hand tools are used to control a wildfire – and dig a hand line themselves. They’ll even eat a fire fighter lunch – a military-style Meals Ready to Eat.
Various dozers, engines and aircraft will be on display. A prescribed burn will take place if weather permits. A certificate will be issued to reporters who complete the class. Note: Because journalists will be participating in field activities, they must wear long pants and close-toed boots.
The workshop and field day are free, but RSVPs are required. RSVP by calling (979) 458-6606 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Forest Service contacts:
Karen Stafford, Wildland Urban Interface Specialist in Lufkin
(936) 639-8132, email@example.com
Holly Huffman, Texas Forest Service Communications Specialist
(979) 458-6605, firstname.lastname@example.org
April Saginor, Texas Forest Service Communications Specialist
(979) 458-6619, email@example.com