Wildfire continues to threaten people and property across Texas. Rapid population growth into Wildland Urban Interface areas and increasing effects of long term drought and increased fuel loading conditions represent major concerns moving forward into the future. Heightened awareness of wildfire threat, prevention and mitigation are becoming increasingly important to ensure safety.
The Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (TxWRAP) and Risk Explorer are the primary mechanisms for Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) to deploy wildfire risk information and create awareness about wildfire issues across the state. It is comprised of a suite of applications tailored to support specific workflow and information requirements for the public, local community groups, private landowners, government officials, hazard-mitigation planners, and wildland fire managers. Collectively these applications will provide the baseline information needed to support mitigation and prevention efforts across the state.
The data layers within the Risk Explorer were developed as part of the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Project (WRA). Results of the assessment can be used to help prioritize areas in the state where tactical analyses, community interaction and education, or mitigation treatments might be necessary to reduce risk from wildfires. In addition, the information provided in the assessment can be used to support the following key priorities:
- Identify areas that are most prone to wildfire
- Identify areas that may require additional tactical planning, specifically related to mitigation projects and Community Wildfire Protection Planning
- Provide the information necessary to justify resource, budget and funding requests
- Allow agencies to work together to better define priorities and improve emergency response, particularly across jurisdictional boundaries
- Increase communication with local residents and the public to address community priorities and needs
- Plan for response and suppression resource needs
- Plan and prioritize hazardous fuel treatment programs
With the successful completion of the Texas WRA Project, TFS continues to be a national leader in wildfire protection planning. This latest assessment builds upon, and significantly improves, the previous successful efforts of the Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment (SWRA), which is recognized as the first successful regional wildfire risk assessment in the nation (www.southernwildfirerisk.com). The SWRA project began in 2003 and was successfully completed in 2006 for the 13 Southern states and continues to be the baseline for fire protection planning in the South. It was sponsored by the Southern Group of State Foresters and managed by Texas A&M Forest Service.
TFS would like to thank the following agencies for participating and helping to make the Texas WRA Project a success.
- Texas A&M University System
- Southern Group of State Foresters
- US Forest Service
- US Fish and Wildlife Service
- Texas Parks and Wildlife
- Missouri Resource Assessment Partnership
A variety of resources are available to help make the most use of the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment (WRA) results and the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (TxWRAP) web application. Support, documentation and reference information is available from several sources. Key resources are provided below.
The Southern Risk Assessment Portal (SouthWRAP) website provides similar interactive mapping capabilities for all 13 states in the Southern region.
A step-by-step guide on how to use the Risk Explorer is provided.
Custom training on how to use the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment results and the TxWRAP application is available from the Texas A&M Forest Service. If you are interested in receiving training for your organization, you can reach us by using the Contact page.
Support for use of the Risk Explorer and the data within it is available by sending an email to the Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will allow you to pose questions, make suggestions, and provide feedback. We welcome and encourage your comments so we can continue to improve TxWRAP to better meet your needs.
Users are also encouraged to check out the Texas A&M Forest Service Mitigation and Prevention website to obtain more detailed information and guidelines to prepare for wildfires. The website contains information on how to protect your home, community and wildlands. This information includes wildfire mitigation strategies, minimum standards for developing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), and requirements for a community to receive the Firewise Communities USA™ recognition.