Wildfire risk assessment website now available for public use

Officials with Oklahoma Forestry Services have unveiled a new website that will help homeowners and communities determine wildfire risk and take measures to mitigate potential hazards. First introduced at the 2014 Governor’s Conference on Wildfire Preparedness in April, the web portal is now live.

The Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal, or SouthWRAP, allows users in Oklahoma and 11 other southern states to identify wildfire threats based on landscape characteristics, historical fire occurrence, weather conditions and terrain. It also routes users to resources that can help them implement practices to address the threats identified and reduce their risk.

“This is the best tool we have to determine wildfire risk,” said State Forester George Geissler. “Our hope is that everyone living in the rural and wildland urban interface areas of Oklahoma will take time to visit the website, learn about their risk and take the necessary action to protect their families and property from wildfire. There are a lot of simple, basic things that people can do to protect their homes.”

SouthWRAP provides user-friendly public access to wildfire risk assessment data that previously hasn’t been readily available. Accessible at www.forestry.ok.gov/southwrap the tools are free to use. The site offers both professional and public applications, providing both groups with the ability to generate maps and download data and reports that describe their specific areas of interest.

The Professional Viewer is designed to support the community wildfire protection planning needs of government officials, hazard-mitigation planners and wildland fire professionals. It can be useful in defining mitigation options, allocating resources and prioritizing programs that will better protect communities.

Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, is committed to conserving, enhancing and protecting Oklahoma’s forests for present and future generations.