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Borger acting to keep citizens safe from wildfire

May 26, 2011

City firefighters using Firewise principles to ward off threats

With the windy weather and the threat of wildfire a constant in this region of Texas, local firefighters have been working hard to be sure this threat doesn’t reach Borger.
The City of Borger has been using Firewise principles as a means of keeping its citizens safe from the threat of wildfire. Such principles have been the use of native plants for landscaping and the thinning of vegetation, which have made a significant difference in its ability to fight wildfires.
As many people remember, two major wildfires (Borger Complex and East Amarillo Complex) burned approximately one million acres surrounding Borger. At this time, the city was unable to defend itself against those fires. However, since that time, the city has taken significant pre-emptive action to keep such action from occurring again.
In 2008, the Borger City Council amended the city fire code to allow prescribed burns to reduce vegetation, fuel for wildfire, on or near city property. This allowed the fire department to create a fuel break to stop wildfire from spreading from fuels to structures throughout the community.
A year later, the city earned the Firewise Communities/USA recognition from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for its collective efforts to protect local residents, their property and natural resources from wildfires.
Last year, the City of Borger was once again threatened by wildfire. However, this fire was stopped when it came in contact with the fire break created by prescribed burns.
Throughout this year, the Borger Fire Department has been assisting neighboring communities in adapting Firewise principles, including leading classes in prescribed burns.
More than 680 communities in the U.S., including 36 in the State of Texas, have dramatically lowered their risk of wildfire damage by participating in the Firewise program.

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