East Texas Wildfire Concerns

Many people liken the recent wildfires that devastated California to a scene right out of a Hollywood movie, and not Hollywood itself. But the beauty that surrounds us here in East Texas could just as easily meet the same fate.

"In California they have the hills and the mountains and or course fire goes up hill very fast," said Texas Forest Service District Forester John Boyette.

Many East Texans can't imagine a wildfire situation like the one in California happening here. But experts tell us with all the trees and vegetation in our area, it's very likely.

East Texas is known for it's beautiful piney woods forests. Not only do all the trees make our area scenic, but many East Texans also depend on the logging industry as part of their lively hood. But one major dry spell could jeopardize everything, and so could human error.

"Clearing brush away and keeping most of the fuel away from your home is basically common sense. But it has to be done prior to an emergency. You can't do it when a fire pops up," Boyette said.

The spacing between homes is another factor.

"Most of the homes that were destroyed in the California fires did not have adequate defensible space. And that holds true just as much here in East Texas as it does in California. You need adequate defensible space if you're going to live out in the forest," Boyette added.

following those rules will help East Texans preserve the natural beauty of the pineywoods for future generations.