Join Commissioner Ann in strengthening our community readiness for wildfire!

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day falls on the first Saturday of May.

Experts note that the catastrophic 2011 wildfires across Texas followed an unusually deep winter freeze, so in the aftermath of February’s snow-and-ice-laden Storm Uri, each of us must take action to reduce the potential damage from wildfire. You have the power to protect what you love — your family and your home — by taking simple actions now within the five-foot perimeter around your house.

In Precinct 3, it’s important we know these 3 Cs:

  1. Check your surroundings.
  2. Clear combustibles like leaves & brush.
  3. Communicate plans with family and neighbors.

Let’s get informed about wildfire preparedness and then get busy through these upcoming community events:

Austin Travis County Wildfire Symposium

Wednesday, April 28, 2 – 5 PM

Learn about the danger and find out how to make it less likely for fire to find a pathway to your home by joining this free symposium sponsored by the Austin Fire Department Wildfire Division and the Austin Travis County Wildfire Coalition.

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

Saturday, May 1, your home!

Rake leaves, clean out gutters, remove dead branches and get combustibles away from your house and other structures. Spread the word to your neighbors because the more people we get involved, the safer our communities will be!

Homes built near greenbelts are in what’s known as the wildland urban interface or WUI. Human activities and infrastructure are the most frequent sources of wildfire ignition. Careless burning, discarded cigarettes, fireworks, and sparks from overhead electrical cables are among many possible causes. Once ignited, fire can quickly spread along any path of combustibles right to your front door. The risk is greatest when the weather is dry and windy, so it’s important to plan ahead for conditions that can occur suddenly at virtually any time of year here in Texas.

Fire follows fuel, and the most effective way to protect your home is by eliminating combustible pathways. Find out how to make it less likely for fire to find a route to your home by joining the free symposium sponsored by the Austin Fire Department Wildfire Division and the Austin Travis County Wildfire Coalition.

Then on Saturday, May 1, we want as many people as possible to be out raking leaves, cleaning out gutters, removing dead branches and moving combustibles away from their houses and other structures. Get your neighbors involved, too, because the more homeowners who follow these principles, the safer everyone will be!

Losses from the 2011 central Texas wildfires

Pinnacle Fire – April 17, 2011 • Travis County • 100 acres • 10 homes destroyed • Burned for four days • Caused by an unattended campfire

Steiner Ranch Fire – Sept. 4, 2011 • Travis County • 125 acres • 20 homes destroyed • A Travis County Constable died directing the evacuation • Burned for six days • Caused by power lines

Spicewood Fire – Sept. 4, 2011 • Travis & Burnet Counties • 6,500 acres • 67 homes destroyed • Burned for eight days • Likely caused by power lines

Bastrop Complex – Sept. 4, 2011 • Bastrop County • 32,400 acres • 1,660 homes destroyed • Two people died • Burned for 37 days • Caused by power lines

It’s been ten years since the catastrophic 2011 Texas wildfires. Over the course of eight months, we lost nearly 3,000 homes in every part of the state. Our neighbors in Bastrop suffered the worst of all, but we lost dozens of homes right here in Travis County. Tragically, Travis County Constable Corporal Kevin Aigner died while helping with the evacuation of Steiner Ranch.

We need to be mindful of the ever-present danger and set aside some time regularly to protect our homes. If you’d like to visit with me or my staff about Travis County wildfire preparedness, please visit my contact page on this site.