Community Wildfire Protection: for Agricultural Landowners

Landowners in Walker and surrounding counties can participate in an upcoming Community Wildfire Protection meeting scheduled June 5 at 6:30 p.m. in Huntsville at the Walker County Storm Shelter, Veterans Complex located at 455 Highway 75 north in Huntsville.
Preregistration is required by May 30 and participants may call the Texas AgriLife Extension Service office in Walker County at 936-435-2426 for reserve seating. There is no charge to attend the meeting and includes a ribeye dinner provided by AgriLand Farm Credit, Texas Farm Bureau -Walker County and Nolan Ryan’s Guaranteed Tender Beef.

Seating is limited, and preregistration is required. The program begins at 7 p.m. Speakers will be discussing information useful to agricultural landowners on several wildfire related subjects.

“Featured among the presentations will be information on fire behavior and land management recommendations provided by the Texas Forest Service,” said Reginald Lepley, AgriLife Extension Service agent for Walker County. “Owners of rural homes will be interested in learning about the Ready Set Go! program presented by the Huntsville Fire Department designed to protect homes in wildland urban interface areas. Livestock managers will find information provided by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service related to planning and preparation for livestock during a wildfire.”

In addition to the other topics, Lepley said the Walker County Office of Emergency Management will present an overview of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which has been an ongoing project in Walker County for the past several years.

“Last year was a devastating wildfire year throughout the state of Texas,” Lepley said. “During the 2011 wildfire season, almost 4 million acres burned in Texas. Numerous rural homes and agricultural enterprises suffered damages. The Texas Forest Service reports that 2,946 homes were lost along with 2,792 other structures. Agricultural landowners are invited to participate in this meeting to learn about community wildfire protection and pick up some recommendations to assist in their personal prevention efforts, or preparation for wildfire incidents.”

Lepley said protection of rural residents, homes, and agricultural enterprises is essential for the well-being of Texas residents.

The meeting is hosted by the Walker County Office of Emergency Management, Walker County Animal Issues Committee and the Extension Livestock & Pasture Committee of Walker County. Additional program cooperators providing expertise is provided by the Texas Forest Service, City of Huntsville Fire Department, and Texas AgriLife Extension.

Community sponsors assisting with support of this event include: AgriLand Farm Credit, Nolan Ryan’s All Natural Beef, and Texas Farm Bureau-Walker County.

Lepley said due to the importance of wildfire protection to all rural residents, these agricultural sponsors have come together to support this event and provide the 10 ounce ribeye steak dinner with all the trimmings at no cost for each person attending this meeting.