Wildfires occur throughout Central Texas almost daily, generally grass fires, and they are quickly extinguished by firefighters. Since the NWACA area is a natural site for wildfire,though, we need to be prepared for when not if a major wildfire will occur. During wildfire season, keep an eye on the Fire Danger Today sign posted at each fire station - and on some TV weather reports.
In case of a significant wildfire,
- emergency notifications will be issued through WarnCentralTexas.org
- first responders will focus on evacuating people from areas in danger
- only when residents are safe, firefighters will focus on mitigating the fire and protecting property
- use the tips from the Ready Set Go brochure to be prepared to leave
According to a report released in 2019 by CoreLogic, Austin ranks fifth in wildfire risk among 15 metropolitan areas, based on the cost of reconstructing homes that could be damaged or destroyed by wildfires. It is essential that homes be hardened, so that after the wildfire, our homes look like the Bastrop home after the 2011 fire on the left, not like this destroyed home site from the 2019 Camp Fire in Paradise, California, below.
Not only will a hardened home have better chances of surviving the fire, but in case you can't evacuate, it may be able to protect you from the fire as your place of refuge.
Next steps to hardening your home and surviving a wildfire:
- get a free home wildfire risk evaluation. During the evaluation, a team trained by AFD's Wildfire Division will walk around the outside of your home with you and identify what is now safe and where there are risks. They provide suggestions that you can follow to make your home and surrounding property more resilient.
- register with WarnCentralTexas.org to get notifications of wildfire and other emergencies by phone, text, and/or email
- build your Personal Wildland Fire Action Plan. See the Ready Set Go brochure, pages 11-12. Create a clear evacuation plan: identify where to go, how to get there, and what to take with you.
- practice your evacuation plan with your family (and any pets), so everyone knows what to do and can do it quickly
- read tips about how to make your home resilient to wildfire
- examine a collection of reference material about wildfire prevention
- explore maps and detailed information about wildfire preparedness in Austin. You can navigate the maps to your own home to see your specific level of risk.
- learn how to make your part of the neighborhood a Firewise Community Site
- If you have a question, here's where to ask a Wildfire Question
Some helpful web sites to explore:
Thank you for helping to make our neighborhood safer!
Firewise is a registered trademark of National Fire Protection Association.