Are you at Risk?
Wildfire continues to threaten people and property across Texas. Rapid population growth into Wildland Urban Interface areas and an increasing frequency of elevated fire weather conditions represent major concerns moving forward into the future. Heightened awareness of wildfire risk, prevention and mitigation are becoming increasingly important to ensure safety. The Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal provides access to information that describes wildfire risk statewide.
In response to increasing demand for more accurate and up-to-date wildfire risk information across the state, Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) established the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Project (TWRA). The goal of the project is to provide a consistent, comparable set of scientific results to be used as a foundation for wildfire mitigation and prevention planning in Texas. Needing a way to deliver the information quickly and seamlessly to stakeholders, TFS developed the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (TexasWildfireRisk). TexasWildfireRisk is the primary mechanism by which TFS is creating awareness among the public and arming state and local government planners with information to support mitigation and prevention efforts.
Results of the assessment can be used to help prioritize areas in the state where tactical analyses, community interaction and education, or mitigation treatments might be necessary to reduce risk from wildfires. In addition, the information provided in the assessment can be used to support the following key priorities:
- Identify areas that are most prone to wildfire
- Identify areas that may require additional tactical planning, specifically related to mitigation projects and Community Wildfire Protection Planning
- Provide the information necessary to justify resource, budget and funding requests
- Allow agencies to work together to better define priorities and improve emergency response, particularly across jurisdictional boundaries
- Increase communication with local residents and the public to address community priorities and needs
- Plan for response and suppression resource needs
- Plan and prioritize hazardous fuel treatment programs
With the successful completion of the TWRA Project, TFS continues to be a national leader in wildfire protection planning. This latest assessment builds upon and significantly improves the previous successful efforts of the Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment (SWRA), which is recognized as the first successful regional wildfire risk assessment in the nation. The SWRA project began in 2003 and was successfully completed in 2006 for the 13 Southern states and continues to be the baseline for fire protection planning in the South. It was sponsored by the Southern Group of State Foresters and managed by Texas A&M Forest Service.