Understanding major wildfire protocols to be discussed at May 7 program

Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, s-byrns@tamu.edu   

Contact: Marvin Ensor, 325-653-4576, m-ensor@tamu.edu  

          SAN ANGELO – Continued rains and optimum grass-growing conditions across much of West Texas are setting the stage for a potentially catastrophic wildfire season, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert said.

To plan for such an occurrence and circumvent protocol misunderstandings among landowners and firefighters, several state agencies and emergency management entities are seeking landowner participation at the upcoming Wildfire Response Workshop.

Understanding major wildfire protocols to be discussed at May 7 program. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Steve Byrns)
Understanding major wildfire protocols to be discussed at May 7 program. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Steve Byrns)

The workshop is set for 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. May 7 at the Tom Green County 4-H Center, 3168 N. U.S. Highway 67, San Angelo.

“This workshop is designed to help landowners and emergency responders work together in order to understand one another’s concerns and perspectives during and immediately following a major wildfire,” said Marvin Ensor, AgriLife Extension regional program leader at San Angelo.

AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Research are partnering with the Texas A&M Forest Service, Concho Valley Council of Governments and the San Angelo/Tom Green County Office of Emergency Management to host the free workshop.

“The workshop will provide a forum that encourages communication and active dialogue among landowners, volunteer fire departments, the Forest Service, county government officials and local emergency management offices,” Ensor said.

“We strongly encourage as many area rural landowners as can to attend this meeting as it is the planners’ goal for all participants to come away well informed of the emergency management systems involved in fighting a major wildfire. We will strive to instill a high level of cooperation and understanding among all parties and create an ongoing meaningful dialogue so everyone understands and values the concerns each have from their respective standpoints.”

 General topics and speakers will include:

– Protecting Natural Resources and Agricultural Enterprises-Landowner Perspective, Bob Brockman, Sutton County rancher; Bob Buchholz, Schleicher County rancher; Reed Stewart, Sterling County rancher.

– Wildfire Response Exercise: Session 1- The First Four Hours of Response, Steve Mild, San Angelo and Tom Green County emergency management coordinator.

– Wildfire Response Exercise: Session 2- Expanding the Incident, Requesting Assistance and Delegation of Authority, Mild and Jeff Meiner, Forest Service assistant chief regional fire coordinator, Midland.

– After Action Report, Mild and Meiner.

– Responsibilities and Priorities of County Government, Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd.  

– Wildfire Mitigation and Recovery Resources and Educational Programs, Dr. Morgan Russell, AgriLife Extension range specialist, San Angelo.   

The workshop will end with a question-and-answer session and closing comments.

          There is no registration fee and all interested persons are welcome to attend. Lunch will be served at no charge. Attendees are asked to RSVP by contacting their local AgriLife Extension office or by calling Nanette Johnson at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo at 325-653-4576, extension 216.

More information is available from Ensor at 325-653-4576, extension 264, m-ensor@tamu.edu or Mild at 325-657-4230, steve.mild@cosatx.us.


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