The City of McKinney, in cooperation with the Texas Forest Service, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Associations, has proclaimed April as Wildfire Awareness Month.

The goal of Wildfire Awareness Month is to remind residents about the dangers of wildfires and to provide direction on how residents can protect their homes and property.

Wildfires destroyed almost 3,000 Texas homes last year. There are many things homeowners can do to help prevent such catastrophic losses in the future.

For safety tips, landscaping suggestions and other information to increase the wildfire survivability of your home and property, visit www.mckinneyfire.org.

In addition to providing information about protecting homes and property, McKinney Fire Department officials want to raise awareness about the potential dangers of outdoor activities that can create a spark – such as debris burning, outdoor campfires, welding and tossed cigarettes.

About 90 percent of wildfires in Texas are caused by humans.

“Preventing wildfires is a community responsibility,” said McKinney Fire Chief Danny Kistner. “We want to engage all McKinney residents to work toward building a safer place for all of us to live.”

Go online to www.mckinneyfire.org for more information.

About the author: Stacie Durham is public information office, fire & life safety educator, and a juvenile firesetter intervention specialist II.