Teams Monday were to begin using hand tools to thin and prune trees and make what's known as shaded fuel breaks along roads used for evacuation. The breaks help keep flames from getting to tree tops.
Forest Service official Phillip Truitt says the breaks also make it safer for firefighters and provide a way out for area residents.
A fire in April 2011 burned more than 300,000 acres in Jeff Davis and Presidio counties, then two months later another fire claimed 12,000 acres. And last May, another 23,000 acres were burned in a wildfire.
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