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Posts Tagged ‘fire’

LBJ Wildflower Center helping to restore pine trees to Texas

Very cool. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of The University of Texas at Austin has been selected by the Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) to serve as the local grower of loblolly pines to restore wildfire-damaged Bastrop County. The 2011 Bastrop County Complex fire destroyed 1,691 homes while burning 33,000 acres that gave the […]

Save those seeds

What would have been worse than the drought and the wildfires in Central Texas that wiped out millions of trees? Not having the wherewithal to properly reforest afterward. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but it was a closer call than you’d have thought. The Texas A&M Forest Service was making plans to dump more than a […]

A dollar a tree

Replacing the trees lost in the Bastrop fires last summer is going to cost some money, but there’s now a foundation working on raising that money. Flanked by containers bristling with pine tree seedlings, state and local officials on Tuesday announced a campaign to pay for an ambitious five-year plan to restore the Lost Pines […]

Assessing the risk of wildfires

While one hopes that it won’t be a problem this year, the Harris County Fire Marshall has come up with a plan to protect vulnerable areas from wildfires. Four months ago, Harris County became the most populated county in the state to finalize a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. It identified areas facing the greatest wildfire […]

The science of fire

Great story about how scientists have been figuring out what really happens when a building burns, and why so much arson “evidence” is bunk: At laboratories throughout the United States—some large enough to contain a three-story house—researchers have been lighting rooms and houses on fire and analyzing the results with the kind of scientific scrutiny […]

Assessing the wildfire damage

This will be grim work. A multiagency environmental response task force will soon issue a report assessing the environmental and ecological damage of the wildfires. “It’s almost complete,” said Roxanne Hernandez, administrator for the county’s Lost Pines Habitat Conservation Plan , who expects the report to be finished by mid-November. The task force is looking […]

Trouble with the trees

The drought gets more expensive for the city of Houston. The drought is about to claim yet more of Houston’s green – this time $4.5 million in tax dollars to remove trees that have died of thirst. Houston’s driest year on record has prompted City Hall to mandate lawn-watering restrictions, hire extra crews to fix […]

More things that schools have to deal with that isn’t in their budgets

Droughts and wildfires. The drought across Texas has lasted nearly 12 months, and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. In fact, La Niña, the intermittent Pacific Ocean phenomenon that caused the drought, is back and strengthening. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, 88 percent of the state is considered to […]

What we lost in the wildfires

It’s going to take a long time to recover from the fires. The fire burned through the heart of the Lost Pines area, a unique ecological island encompassing some 64,000 acres of loblolly pine, the westernmost stands of the great pine forest originally carpeting the southeastern United States. Incinerated, too, was the largest single tract […]

Mayor extends burn ban in parks

From the inbox: Mayor Parker Extends Parks Burn Ban to Include Smoking Mayor Annise Parker today signed an executive order extending the City’s temporary burn ban to include smoking in City parks.  The smoking ban applies to lighted cigars, cigarettes, pipes or any other device used for the burning of tobacco or other plant material. […]

We had a wildfire protection plan

We just weren’t willing to pay for it. Long before this month’s historic wildfires in Texas, the state’s forest service came up with a $20.4 million plan to stop the flames from starting or tamp them out before small blazes grew deadly and destructive. Three years later, the plan is still only half-funded — a […]

City may ban smoking in parks

Um, yeah. Mayor Annise Parker said she is considering banning smoking in the city’s 380 parks because of the fire dangers presented by discarded cigarettes. “This drought is a crisis situation,” Parker said.  ”I am leaning toward a ban on smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars –  a ban on smoking in city parks.  But what I want first […]

New park protection rules

From the Mayor’s office: People Protecting Our Parks Mayor Annise Parker Announces New Fire Safety Campaign for City Parks Mayor Annise Parker, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) and the Houston Fire Department (HFD) announced People Protecting Our Parks, a new campaign that calls on Houstonians to proactively protect the City’s parklands during the ongoing drought.  […]

This is an excellent time to cut funding for fighting wildfires

That’s exactly what the Republicans did in the budget that came into effect last week. Cash-strapped state lawmakers – led by Gov. Rick Perry’s stand against raising taxes or dipping too deeply into the state rainy day fund – cut appropriations for the Texas Forest Service even as they had to dig for more money […]

From the “You get what you pay for” department

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around this story about the struggle of suburban fire departments to provide services for residents who don’t want to pay for them. I just don’t understand the mindset. Montgomery County ESD No. 8, which operates Hudson’s fire department, is considering asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales […]

Forensic Science Commission gets its report on Willingham case

It’s going to be a lot harder for anyone to claim with a straight face that the state of Texas has never executed an innocent man. Key testimony that sent a Corsicana auto mechanic to the execution chamber for setting a house fire that killed three young children was based on faulty investigations that ignored […]

Fireworks and droughts

It’s hard out there on a fireworks vendor. As July 4 approaches, Michael Girdley is praying for rain. The president of Alamo Fireworks, based in China Grove, is worried a summer drought could lead to a fireworks ban in Harris County, one of Girdley’s biggest markets. “It’s our worst nightmare. We used to be able […]

Gallery fire ruled arson

Wow. The massive fire last week that destroyed the warehouse at Gallery Furniture’s main location on the North Freeway was intentionally set, an official said today. Rob Elder, assistant special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in Houston, said the agency determined the fire was arson because all possible […]

Gallery Furniture fire