After the costliest wildfire season in Texas last year, the Texas Forest Service and Texas A&M University have launched a free online application that aims to alert residents throughout the state of wildfire dangers.
The so-called TxWRAP application allows residents to enter their home or business’ location in order to find wildfire risks specific to that location. Not only does the application provide wildfire risks based on current weather conditions, the tool also provides information on wildfire risks based on topography.
Professional users can also generate reports and packaged materials using the application in order to provide warnings of wildfire risks to large groups.
The application comes after the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) estimates that 2011 was the costliest year for wildfires in Texas with insured losses estimated at more than $500 million. In addition, insured loss estimates from the Bastrop Complex Wildfire in the state have reached $325 million due to the destruction of more than 1,600 homes, becoming the costliest in the state’s history, according to ICT.
Reduce your risk of property damage caused by wildfire embers by keeping your roof and gutters clear of debris, which includes removing tree branches, leaves, pine needles and other combustible items. To see just how damaging embers can be if debris is not removed, check out an ember test at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) Research Center.
Meanwhile, additional wildfire resources are available at the IBHS website.
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