Wildland fire is an integral component of the ecosystem of Walker County. For millennia low intensity fires have maintained the health of our native forests and grasslands. Changes in land use and fire suppression have significantly altered the composition and structure of native vegetation in these fire prone ecosystems. In many situations this risk associated with a wildfire can be dramatically reduced through actions such as public outreach, fuels reduction around structures, and improving communities' infrastructure.
The purpose of the Walker County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (WCCWPP) is to protect human life and reduce property loss due to wildland fire in communities throughout Walker County. The goals are to increase public understanding , instill sense of responsibility, restore the ecosystems, improve landscapes fire resilience, identify the local fire department needs, and to provide emergency management personnel. The complete WCCWPP should be finalized in 2007. At that time the plan will be posted on this web page. For additional information in the interim please visit the Healthy Forests Initiative, Texas Forest Service or you may email Chief Tom Grisham.
Lower Your Risk
If you live in one of many local subdivisions with fire hydrants and maintained lawns and trees you are at low risk. Factors increase greatly if you have dead vegetation near and around your home or propane tank. If you have low hanging branches, vines or shrubs that can carry fames up into the treetops. Dry dead shrubs or grass under or against your house should be cleared. Evergreens with high levels of volatile tree oil are: cedar, yaupon, wax myrtle and rosemary. Deciduous plants are typically less flammable unless their dead leaves have not fallen or have dead branches.
Everyone should create a defensible space around your home. Remove all dead vegetation, including fallen leaves and branches within 10 feet of the house and propane tank. This includes vegetation that has grown alongside or under the house especially if you have wood siding of latticework. Clean leaves from your roof and gutters. Move any woodpiles a minimum of 30 feet from your house or propane tank. Prune your trees so that there are no hanging branches within 10 feet from your house or 15 feet from you chimney. Keep highly flammable materials including gasoline and oil off your porch and in a safe place away from any propane tanks.