Fighting Fire with Apps

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN - Since December 2010, 26,000 fires have burned nearly four million acres across the Lone Star State.

Now fires are beginning to rage again, but this time, the power to protect your home lies in the palm of your hand.

Friday was the grand unveiling of the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal, or TxWRAP, a Texas Forest Service app for your phone.

The app is for all smart phones, aiding local emergency management officials but it's also for the public, with no login or fee required.

It's a geographic information system that can pinpoint your fire risk.

"It'll show you different layers overlaid on Google Maps of fire potential," TFS Wildland Urban Interface Specialist, Patrick Allen, said. "It'll show you what, characteristically, in that area, you can expect flame lengths to be, you can expect rates of spread of the fire due to the vegetation in the area."

NewsWest 9 couldn't get a face-to-face interview with Midland's division of TFS because they were on the steps of the Capitol in Austin unveiling this app on Friday.

"Today we unveiled it and then they were doing a demonstration for the senators," Allen said. "I've also been going around to the communities around Austin and doing on-site demonstrations."

The app is unveiled and can be accessed from your phone now just by going to the website, bringing you the knowledge you need to protect your home from fires right to your fingertips.