Harris County to implement Community Wildfire Protection Plan
HOUSTON – Harris County is poised to become the largest area in Texas to implement a community wildfire protection plan, based on a collaborative effort by local government officials and Texas Forest Service.
A brief ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12, in Houston, where Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and others will sign the plan, representing their commitment to reducing the risk and impact of wildfire.
Once signed, Harris County will join 15 other counties and 57 communities in Texas that have implemented wildfire protection plans.
Texas Forest Service works with interested communities to help officials craft wildfire protection plans tailored for their area. The development of such a plan helps residents assess community hazards, identify potential risks and set goals that will mitigate issues that arise, such as problems with topography, water sources and expected fire behavior.
It also gives community leaders an opportunity to educate the public and develop strategies for emergency response and evacuations.
Bruce Woods, Texas Forest Service’s prevention and mitigation department head, commended Harris County Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery for his efforts in developing the plan, adding that Harris County’s involvement is “a major milestone in the development of CWPPs in Texas.”
“So much can be done to plan for wildfire and reduce the risk to the residents of your community,” Woods said. “It’s great to see forward-thinking leaders come to the table and put together this plan that ultimately could save lives.”
Harris County plan priorities include increasing public awareness about the dangers of wildfire, teaching residents how to better protect their homes with Firewise landscaping practices, completing community risk assessments and identifying potential fuel-reduction projects.
For more information on Community Wildfire Protection Plans, visit the Texas Forest Service website.