Wildfire Prevention Tip #4: Get a Home Risk Assessment

September 29th, 2013


With a projected drought of more than 20 years, it’s not really a matter of if, but when, a wildfire event will happen in NWACA.

Homeowners in the Western United States, in Steiner Ranch, Bastrop, and other Central Texas communities, know that any home within miles of such a fire is vulnerable. The damage occurs from the ember storm that gets released from the fire; it’s not generally a moving wall of flame that destroys homes.

Creating a defensible space around the home is a proven technique to save a home during a wildfire. Analysis of the Yarnell, Arizona fire in June shows that for homes that had created a defensible space, none of them burned. For those that were minimally prepared, only 10% were destroyed. On the other hand, for those that had done nothing, more than 50% were destroyed. Studies of other fires show similar results; when homeowners make the area around their homes resistant to wildfire, they save their homes from the fire.

So, what does it take to minimize the risk? The NWACA Wildfire Prevention Committee can help you determine what’s needed to create a defensible space around your home. Committee members recently completed training with the Texas Forest Service and Austin Fire Department on Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) Risk Assessment. Teams took classroom training, as well as doing mentored assessments of 16 homes in the neighborhood. These certified teams are ready to do an assessment of your home with you, so you know how to harden your home. To arrange for an assessment, to learn more about the process, or to get more information about preventing wildfire, go to the Get Involved section of this web site and complete the Firewise Request form.

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