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Fire marshals host wildfire seminar

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

The Bandera County Fire Marshal's Office is partnering with the Kendall County FM's Office to present a free seminar on wildfire preparedness, County Fire Marshal John Stith announced this week.

The seminar will be held Tuesday, March 20 at the Flying L Guest Ranch.

A meet and greet will begin at 6 pm, followed by the program at 7 pm.

"The widespread wildfires that did so much damage in Texas last summer caught many people unprepared," said Stith.

The seminar will give the public an opportunity to meet local emergency service personnel, hear the most current Spring drought predictions for Texas, and learn ways to protect their family, home and property from wildfire.

Residents will be introduced to the Ready, Set, Go! wildfire action plan.

The plan provides checklists for families to work through so there is a clear understanding of what to do when a fire breaks out.

Local officials also will talk to residents about current wildfire mitigation efforts in a proactive effort to reduce wildfire risk for the community.

More than 80 percent of wildfires in Texas occur within 2 miles of a community. The statistics from 2011 are staggering. Almost 4 million acres burned, destroying 3,017 homes, while almost 40,000 homes directly threatened by wildfire were saved through the efforts of local, state and federal fire resources.

"Last year was an eye-opening experience for many Texans," said Patrick Allen, a wildland urban interface specialist with Texas Forest Service. "Our goal is to empower residents with the appropriate tools and knowledge so they can take a proactive approach to upcoming wildfire seasons."

For more information, call the Bandera County Fire Marshal's Office at 830-460-8183 or the Texas Forest Service at 979-204-9648.