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KWTX - TV News 10 "Coryell County creating Community Wildfire Protection Plan"

Aug 24, 2023

Two Austin groups come to Coryell County to help create wildfire protection plan


CORYELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - As wildfires continue to rage across Central Texas, two groups are teaming up to help out in Coryell County.

A public meeting was held Wednesday night in Gatesville to talk about the first steps to creating a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP).

“It’s a comprehensive plan that addresses issues such as wildfire response, mitigation, community preparedness and structure protection,” says Lillian Reed with Natural Resources Solutions L.C.

This first meeting was an introduction for the plan and a chance to gain feedback and ideas from the people who live there, so they can start putting a plan together that can benefit everyone.

This plan is one of few in the state and it could also bring with it some major funding for local resources.

The plan would make the county eligible to apply for the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program, which is part of the massive infrastructure bill. If approved, the county could get up to $10 million which would be a gamechanger for these small towns.

“We knew that wildfires were big here in this area and so we want to be able to apply for that funding to help mitigate these wildfires. Which will help with funding for fire breaks, education, all around preparedness for the community and the county,” Reed adds.

Only a handful of people showed up to this meeting, certainly not the turnout they were hoping for. A Gatesville resident who had a number of questions during the discussion portion says he is motivated to get more people to the next meeting.

“We actually expected a better turnout knowing what the subject matter was. Having seen firsthand what a fire can do to our property, let alone having that nervousness of losing life, or property, or animals,” David Spatzier says.

This meeting is one of three, the next two will be more in-depth now that they know what direction they are headed in.

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