November 15, 2022

    Gray County completes Community Wildfire Protection Plan to address wildfire risk

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Gray County has adopted a plan to reduce risks and better prepare for wildfires.

    A Community Wildfire Protection Plan is a proven strategy for reducing the risk of wildfire to communities. The Gray County plan establishes goals and strategies for long-term success by identifying priorities and proposing immediate measures that will protect communities from wildland fire.

    The plan is the 24th countywide Community Wildfire Protection Plan to be completed in Texas, and was developed in collaboration with county officials, local volunteer fire departments, representatives from Texas A&M Forest Service and the Beau-Ty Co.

    “This type of collaborative plan is a great way for communities to prepare for and reduce their risk from wildfires,” said Juan Rodriguez, Texas A&M Forest Service Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator. “Community stakeholders have come together to identify areas and neighborhoods at risk and prioritize mitigation actions to reduce structural ignitability.”

    Gray County, located in the central part of the Texas Panhandle, has been greatly impacted by wildfires in recent years and is subject to Southern Plains Wildfire Outbreak events that are known to severely impact communities.

    On March 6, 2017, a Southern Plains Wildfire Outbreak event occurred where the fire environment was characterized by extreme conditions that were favorable to support fast-moving wildfires. Multiple fires, including the 135,000-acre Lefors East Fire, ignited that day and quickly moved across the landscape prompting evacuations. Four civilians lost their lives and numerous communities across the Panhandle were impacted.

    “These situations are a grim reminder of the devastating impact that a wildfire can have on a community, the land and livelihood of Texans,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “We are encouraged by communities that come together, working collaboratively to implement actions that reduce their risk from wildfire and protect their residents.”

    In 2019, the City of Pampa and Gray County were awarded a Hazardous Mitigation Preparedness Grant from the Texas Division of Emergency Management for the purpose of completing a Wildfire Mitigation Planning Project. This project took the form of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

    The county plan was completed at the end of the summer and has since been approved and accepted by the county as well as the cities of Pampa, Lefors and McLean.

    To learn more about Community Wildfire Protection Plans and reducing your risk from wildfire, visit


    Texas A&M Forest Service Contacts:
    Juan Rodriguez, WUI Coordinator, 806-220-5156,
    Alex Bregenzer, CWPP Program Coordinator, 512-354-5790,
    Information Officer, 979-255-0591,