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WICHITA MOUNTAINS NWR HOSTS A REGIONAL WILDLAND FPET
Southwest Region, March 31, 2006
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Ongoing wildfires and extreme to critical wildfire danger have been occurring since November 2005 around the USF&WS (FWS) National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) located in Oklahoma and Northern Texas. In response to this high wildfire incidence and risk, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Fire Management Officer, Ralph Godfrey, obtained severity funds and requested the services of a Regional Wildland Fire Prevention & Education Team (FPET). A Prevention Team Leader (PETL) was dispatched to Indiahoma, OK on March 4, 2006 to conduct FPET pre-planning. An Information Officer (IOF/PIO) and Prevention Team Member (PETM) were ordered two days later. The FPET is presently working to develop a Firewise (i.e., wildfire survivability and education) message for 43 communities adjoining the 15 FWS Refuges found in Oklahoma and Northern Texas. Specifically, the Product-Development Prevention Team has been charged to: (a) Create a comprehensive Firewise power point presentation that delivers a good fire-bad fire message and ways to survive

(b) Create complementing Firewise and fire-related literature; (c) Develop a work plan to implement delivery of the Firewise presentation and literature products; and (d) Educate and train Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge staff on Firewise delivery and FPET skill sets to support Refuge staff’s participation in the roll-out of the Firewise products. The FPET #1 will be operational through March 26, 2006. A second FPET was requested and with the threat of wildland fire in these communities and continued availability of federal severity funding assured a continuation of the FPET. The availability of severity funds is central to keeping an FPET presence at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. FPET product development and the Team’s documentation will serve to support future NWR’s management decisions on community fire prevention and education program delivery long after the FPET(s) has demobilized. 

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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