Howard County Getting Ready for Fire Season

by Mike Henry
KBYG - Special to NewsWest9

BIG SPRING - A lot of great rain has fallen over our area this year, but all the green we see now will eventually turn dry and brown, and make for perfect fuel for wildfires.

You may recall a similar situation a couple of years ago when several large-scale wildfires broke out in Howard County, damaging and destroying homes and property.

While excellent response from local and regional fire fighting resources kept worse disasters at bay, officials want to improve on prevention and response when it comes to wildfires this coming new year.

Howard County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tommy Sullivan facilitated a special meeting of emergency agency representatives Wednesday to talk over prevention and response points for the approaching fire season.

One of the primary topics Sullivan addressed was "lessons learned" from the 2008 fires in Howard County. Sullivan suggested areas for improvement are procedures for the establishment of command and staging posts during wildfires, scene control, evacuations and communications.

Officials also emphasized the importance of media to communicate prevention messages as well as important information for the public when an emergency situation that threatens life and property occurs.

Agency representatives at the meeting included those from county and fire departments, city and county leadership, police and sheriffs department, public school districts and the Texas Forest Service.