• Wildfire Prevention Resources

    Wildfires can affect anyone.  They can spread and threaten our communities and homes.  They are dangerous, but you are not powerless.  About 9 out of 10 wildfires are human caused, which also means 90% of our wildfires can be prevented with some simple actions.  Education is crucial, and by learning some safety tips, you are taking the first step in wildfire prevention.
     + Careless Debris Burning
    • Check local burning restrictions and burn bans before lighting any outdoor burn piles.
    • Keep debris piles small and manageable.
    • Keep a water source, such as a hose or bucket, nearby.
    • Clear vegetation and flammable material at least 10 feet away from your pile.
    • Avoid burning under overhead obstructions like trees, powerlines, and structures.
    • Never leave your fire unattended.
    • Always fully extinguish your fire before leaving.
    • Choose alternatives to burning, when feasible.


     Wildfire Prevention Resources_Debris Burning

     + Parking in Dry Grass
    • Maintain off-road vehicles and void parking or idling over dry vegetation.
    • Keep vehicles well maintained, including the vehicle's exhaust system - failing catalytic converters may emit extremely hot metal fragments and ignite a roadside wildfire.
    • Avoid driving and/or parking in tall, dry grass.  The catalytic converter is located underneath your vehicle and may start wildfires if exposed to dry vegetation.  Catalytic converter operate between 550-1600ºF and can reach 2000ºF if the engine is not running properly.


     Wildfire Prevention Resources_Parking in Dry Grass

     + Trailer Safety
    • Always connect your trailer safety chains, even for short trips.  Loose chains can create sparks, igniting roadside grasses.
    • Underinflated tires and/or tire failure pose a wildfire hazard.  Wheel rims may produce sparks if contact is made with the pavement.  Keep a pressure gauge in your vehicle and ensure all tires are properly inflated.  Inspect tires regularly, especially during long trips, for signs of damage.
    • Stay up-to-date with your trailer maintenance.  Ensure your wheel bearings, lights, wiring, and brakes are in good shape and functioning properly before each trip.
    • Keep an eye on your trailer while you're driving.  Stop immediately if you notice any smoke, sparks, or flat tires.
    • Never park on dry grass.  Overheated wheel bearing and vehicle exhausts can quickly ignite roadside grasses.
    • Do a 360º inspection around your trailer and tow vehicle before each trip.  Check for any loose tie-downs or items that could shift and come in contact with the road.


    Wildfire Prevention Resources_Trailer Safety

     + Campfire Safety


    • Learn before you burn.  Check for any burn bans, local ordinances or campground restrictions before building your campfire.
    • Always obey local burn bans and outdoor burning restrictions.  Wait to conduct any outdoor burning or light campfires until the burn ban has been lifted and weather conditions are not extremely hot, dry, or windy.
    • Keep you embers contained by using a fire ring or fire pit.
    • Check for overhanging branches, power lines or other hazards that could catch fire.
    • Keep your campfire to a manageable size.  A large fire requires more work and water to ensure it's dead out.
    • When putting out your campfire: drown the ashes with water, stir with a shovel and feel the ashes are cool with the back of your hand.  Repeat these steps until your ashes are cold.
    • Use local firewood.  When you transport firewood, you might unintentionally spread harmful insects or diseases to new locations.
    • Keep a water source, such as a hose or bucket, nearby.
    • Be mindful of kids and pets around campfires.
    • Never leave your cooking or campfire unattended!


     Wildfire Prevention Resources_Campfire Safety

     + Fireworks
    • Check for local restrictions on fireworks and burn bans.
    • Fireworks should be used outdoors on flat, smooth surfaces away from dry grass and flammable materials.
    • Keep water, wet towels, and a garden hose nearby in case of a fire.
    • Call 9-1-1 immediately if a wildfire or grassfire ignites.


    Wildfire Prevention Resources_Fireworks

     + Outdoor Cooking Safety
    • Never leave your grill unattended.  Wind gusts may blow embers into dry vegetation, potentially starting a wildfire.
    • Ensure your grill is kept clean of excess grease to prevent flare-ups.
    • Place your grill in an open space away from tall or dry grass, shrubs, woodpiles or other flammable materials.  Also avoid placing your grill underneath a tree or on a wooden patio deck.
    • After you are finished grilling, allow time for the coals in your grill to completely cool.  Smoldering coals may reignite and release embers, which may be blown into nearby vegetation.
    • Never travel with a lit or smoldering grill in the back of a truck or trailer.  Embers may blow out while you are driving and cause a roadside start.
    • Residents should monitor weather conditions and avoid grilling with wood or charcoal on hot, dry , windy days.


    Wildfire Prevention Resources_Outdoor Cooking Safety

     + Welding Safety
    • Keep area clear of vegetation.
    • Have a spotter watch for sparks.
    • Keep water and a fire extinguisher nearby.
    • Wet down work area.
    • Avoid welding on windy days.


    Wildfire Prevention Resources_Welding Safety

     + Arson
    • Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement officials.
    • Call the TAMFS Arson Hotline:
      • 1-800-364-3470
    • When making a report, be prepared with a vehicle description, location, and suspect description.
    • Texas A&M Forest Service offers rewards up to $10,000 for any tips that lead to a Grand Indictment.


    Wildfire Prevention Resources_Arson

     + Home Preparedness
    • Remove accumulated debris from the roof and gutters.
    • Cover all vent openings with 1/16 to 1/8 inch metal mesh.
    • Eaves should be boxed in (soffit-eave design) and protected with ignition-resistant or non-combustible materials.
    • Build or remodel your walls with ignition-resistant building materials.
    • Install dual-paned windows with at least one pane of tempered glass.


    Wildfire Prevention Resources_Home Preparedness

     + Defensible Space
    • Defensible space is the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it.
    • This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it helps protect your home from catching fire.
    • Proper defensible space also provides firefighters a safe area to work in, to defend your home.
    • Keep your property lean and green to help protect your family and home.
    • Remove dead vegetation around your home, and break up continuous vegetation with sidewalks, non-flammable landscaping, and trimming shrubs and trees.
    • Store firewood at least 30 feet away from the home.


    Wildfire Prevention Resources_Defensible Space

     + Evacuation Preparedness
    • Create a Wildfire Action Plan that includes evacuation planning for your home, family, and pets.
    • Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit starting with the 5 P's: People and pet supplies, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal needs, and Priceless items.
    • Have enough food, water, and necessary supplies for at least 72 hours.
    • Fill-out a Family Communication Plan that includes important evacuation and contact information.
    • Make sure you monitor wildfires in your area and know your community's emergency response plan, evacuation orders, and evacuation centers.


     Wildfire Prevention Resources_Evacuation Preparedness

     + Evacuations - GO!
    • Go early!  You don't have to wait to be told when to leave.
    • Always have two evacuation routes planned so you can safely escape if one route becomes compromised.
    • Review your Evacuation Plan Checklist.
    • Ensure your Emergency Supply Kit/Evacuation Bag is in your vehicle.
    • Cover-up to protect against heat and flying embers.  Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes/boots, cap, dry bandanna for face cover, goggles or glasses.  100% cotton is preferable.
    • Locate your pets and take them with you.


    Wildfire Prevention Resources_Evacuation GO