May 23, 2012 – PALO PINTO COUNTY, Texas – Texas Forest Service representatives are pleased to join homeowners at The Ranch on Possum Kingdom this weekend to celebrate the area’s first Firewise Communities USA designation.
The scenic community surrounding Possum Kingdom Lake in Palo Pinto County was devastated by wildfire last year. The PK Complex Wildfire on April 9 burned 126,734 acres and destroyed 168 homes. In late August, the 101 Ranch Fire burned 6,555 acres and destroyed 39 homes.
Texas Forest Service Wildland Urban Interface Forester Nick Harrison worked closely with the ranch manager and ranch owners’ association. To receive the Firewise designation, a community must obtain a wildfire risk assessment, create an action plan based on the assessment, conduct a community cleanup event, invest a minimum of $2 per capita in local Firewise actions and submit an application to their state Firewise liaison.
The efforts earned the community the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise Communities USA designation, which they will celebrate this weekend.
A ceremony is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at The Ranch on Possum Kingdom in Graford. The gathering also will serve as the Firewise Committee’s education day, as they will provide information to homeowners on the Firewise and Ready, Set, Go! programs.
More than 700 sites in 40 states have received the Firewise designation, proving they are committed to taking proactive actions toward preventing wildfires in their area.
“The area surrounding The Ranch on Possum Kingdom suffered significantly during the 2011 wildfire season,” Harrison said. “It’s been a pleasure to see them become a Firewise community. A lot of work goes into becoming Firewise, and their efforts are going to make this community a safer place for homeowners and emergency responders.”
For more information about Firewise Communities, contact your local wildland urban interface specialist.
Nick Harrison, Texas Forest Service Wildland Urban Interface Forester
(817) 894-4761, email@example.com
Justice Jones, Texas Forest Service Wildland Urban Interface and Prevention Coordinator