Fulfilling the service component of a true land-grant university system, Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) is a proud member of The Texas A&M University System. TFS is recognized as the leader in defining forestry for the future of Texas and the nation. Its applied programs include forest and tree development; wildfire prevention, mitigation, and protection; urban and community forestry; and a host of innovative forest sustainability programs. TFS works to ensure the state’s forests, trees, and related natural resources are conserved and continue to provide a sustainable flow of environmental and economic benefits.
TFS is also the incident management agency for state disasters, including wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. TFS delivers wildfire response and protection through the Texas Wildfire Protection Plan (TWPP). Launched as a pilot program more than a decade ago, it is now a national model for state wildfire protection. TWPP is a tested and proven emergency response model emphasizing ongoing analysis, mitigation, prevention, and preparation followed by a coordinated and rap-id response. With legislative support, TFS plans to expand the plan, increasing the number of personnel and emergency response resources throughout the state.
The 2011 wildfire season was the worst in Texas history, fueled by the hottest summer on record and a prolonged, historic drought. More than 31,000 wildfires burned 4 million acres of land, destroyed 2,947 Texas homes, and claimed 10 lives. The record-setting season laid claim to 10 of the 14 largest documented wildfires in state history, the most homes destroyed by a single wildfire (in the Bastrop area), the largest wildfire to ever burn in East Texas (in the Bear Creek area), 9 Texas firestorms in the Southern Plains, and the most acres burned in a single season. Under the leadership of TFS, 16,690 responders from every state in the nation created a network of protection across Texas.
- Established: 1915
- Number of Texas counties served: 254
- Number of Locations: 67
- FY 2011 operating budget: $65.3 million