Our office has helped the Bibb County Natural Resources Planning Committee to offer two separate presentations in 2017 on homeowner protection from wildfires. The more recent of the two was held Thursday, July 20 at the Bibb County Board of Education. Ethan Barrett of the Alabama Forestry Commission, along with Jacob Richards and Mike Caylor of the U.S. Forest Service Oakmulgee District, provided valuable information for those in attendance. Audience members included individuals, as well as members and leaders of the Centreville, Brierfield, Cedar Grove and Lone Star volunteer fire departments. Specifically, attendees learned to minimize risk of home and property loss by eliminating brush and other fuel hazards close to a house, creating wider roads that dozers and heavy equipment can access to fight a fire, prevent its spread, and reduce response time to try to save a home or property. In addition, the importance of using GPS technology using the Avenza Maps app to report a fire location quickly and accurately was emphasized. There was also a discussion of upcoming Alabama Forestry Commission budget cuts, and how those would impact the ability of the agency to fight fires and assist volunteer fire departments. For more information, contact our office at 205-926-4310.
Matthew D. Hartzell, M. Ed., County Extension Coordinator