Ready, Set, Go! Helping Your Community Become Fire Wise

 Ready, Set, Go! Helping Your Community Become Fire Wise

27 July 2016

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USA —  The “Ready, Set, Go!” program is designed to teach individuals who live in high risk wildland fire areas how to best prepare themselves and their properties against wildland fire threats.

It’s that season again, and that means get READY by preparing your family, get SET as the fire approaches, and GO early to give your family the best chance of surviving.

“Just important to let them know so that they can have a chance if there’s a fire in their area that it won’t consume their homes, they’ll have something to come back to when it’s over,” says Stacy Harvick of the Texas A&M Forest Service.

The “Ready, Set, Go!” program is a wildfire action plan, 13 fire departments in the Big Country take part in it. The Wayland VFD recently purchased wildfire mitigation equipment with a grant that only they have gotten, but they and Buffalo Gap are both fire wise communities.

“It allows us to help somebody out, an elderly person or someone who just simply can’t afford it, we’ll come out for free, we’ll do a wildfire threat assessment to their property and if it’s somebody that can’t afford it, we can take the equipment out there and help them clean their property up,” says Brian Rogers, secretary and treasurer of the Wayland VFD.

By clean up, he means use equipment to make properties more fire wise. You create more defensible space, which is the space that firefighters need to help protect your home.

You don’t have to cut all of the trees down! Also, metal roofing, stones, and barriers around the home will safeguard it, helping you AND your neighbors, “it gets them all involved so that if you do your part, you know your neighbor has to too so that there’s not a wick running from their property to yours,” said Harvick.

Firefighters can help protect you and your family, but it all starts with you. Be ready, get set, and go, because in reality, wildfire related deaths happen because people wait too late to leave.

Rogers says if you are with a fire department interested in helping your community become fire wise, or apply for the grant that the Wayland VFD received, he’d be happy to help you. He can be reached at (254) 210-1421.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, 80% of homes lost to wildfires could have been saved if the owners had only followed a few simple fire-safe practices.

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