NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - All this nice weather makes it a perfect time for homeowners to do their "firewise" chores.
On Wednesday, Etoile ISD students made the entrance to a nearby community less of a fire hazard. The word of the day is mitigation.
Willie Jones, the vice president of Etoile ISD Firewise, and a classmate were cleaning up in an effort to make the entrance fire safe.
Willie knew the topic. He was just busy at the time.
"Well, mitigation is the three main parts of how to start a fire," Jones said. "Heat, oxygen, and fuel. And we're just taking away the fuel like the dead trees and others things like leaves."
John Boyett, the district forester for the Texas A&M Forest Service, gave the Etoile ISD students some other tips on mitigation.
"And we piled all this firewood up here that people will come and use in the community for firewood next winter," Boyett said. "That way, if we do get a wildfire through here, then we can handle it pretty easily. The local fire department can probably put it out, whereas when it's out in the woods, and it gets kinda rough, then they have to call us with our big bulldozers."
New World residents don't want that problem, so they gladly accepted the help from the Etoile ISD Firewise kids to clean up around the entrance.
"It's pretty dangerous out here because if you look at this, it's only one way in and one way out, so the more you can do to keep the fuel down the better off we're going to be," said Howard Ure, a New World resident.
The students set an example for adults.
"Like to know a kid is making a difference," Jones said.
They're disappointed other schools don't have Firewise programs.
"We're the only Firewise school in America, and we've been doing this for five years," Kayli Samford said.
Here is one more reminder.
"If you are going to burn debris, don't do when there is any wind at all," said Jan Amen, a fire prevention specialist with the Texas A&M Forest Service. "If that fire gets out, it's your responsibility."
Becoming Firewise goes beyond picking up the debris.
Ninety percent of the fires that occur are started by humans. Contact the Texas A&M Forest Service if your community or school would like to establish a Firewise program.