Grants available to Texas landowners for wildfire prevention

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The Texas A&M Forest Service said it’s been a serious wildfire season for Texas so grants are being offered to landowners to keep communities safe.

These grants are important because officials said the average person cannot control a fire by themselves and it’s expensive. 

Fire officials said despite the rain, most of Texas remains dry with conditions ripe for wildfires. 

“A big giant fire that’s maybe 30 to 50 foot flames and it’s really burning in every layer of the forest, from the ground all the way to the top. That’s the types of fires that we as fire fighters can’t handle,” said Andy McCrady, Texas A&M Forest Service.

That’s why the Texas A&M Forest Service offers grants for what’s called prescribed fires, where professionals come out to control the flames to prevent out-of-control wildfires.

“Wildfires are just not something that can really burn through these forests anymore, there’s too many houses and too many roads,” McCrady said.

McCrady said fires are natural and needed.

“These forests are used to having fire whether it was natural fire from lightning or caused by the Native Americans when they were here, they’re really evolved to have fire and so it’s important to let fire burn through these forests both for the plants and animals,” McCrady said.

But it’s vital to control fires so it doesn’t reach nearby homes. They do this by keeping underbrush from growing and spreading the wildfires.  

“Helps reduce the vegetation in the understory so that all the communities around that forest are much safer,” McCrady said.

He said landowners of any size, both big and small, can apply for the grants. 

“If they want to take care of their property, whether that’s wildfire reduction, or to grow more wildlife, or to restore native habitat, fire does all that for people. They’re going to be better off and the community around them is going to be safer,” McCrady said.

The grants can reimburse landowners up to 100-percent. There’s three different kinds of grants people can apply for at the Texas A&M Forest Service online or at a local office.

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