PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — With Tuesday’s wildfire threat, fire crews all across the area are keeping a close eye on weather conditions.
Firefighters say it’s important that you take precautions now, before it’s too late.
There is a red flag warning in effect Tuesday for most of the Hill Country as the possibility for rapidly spreading wildfires increases. The risk also extends to the East metro area as well.
Firefighters are ready to go at a moments notice in case things start to flare up. Already this week, crews in Pflugerville have responded to a small brush fire on the East side of the city. It was put out quickly, but with the fire danger level sitting in “high” — any small threat poses a big potential for danger.
Every morning, firefighters check the national fire rating system and look at the national weather service so they know what’s in store. Currently, there are four fire stations covering 100 square miles in the city, but Pflugerville continues to grow and expand. The land and rural areas to the east are developing, but the closest fire station sits several miles away. Firefighters say it’s important that you take precautions now, before it’s too late.
“Just be mindful of your own property, these things don’t just happen in the rural parts of the district. If a fire actually starts within a normal community and you’re the neighbor that hasn’t kept up hasn’t raked your leaves, hasn’t cut your grass, hasn’t trimmed your bushes and hasn’t really maintained your property, you’ve kind of been more part of the problem than part of the solution,” said Captain Robert Ortiz with the Pflugerville Fire Department.
Ortiz pointed out there has been no significant rain since early December, giving the vegetation time to grow and dry out. Combine that with low humidity and high winds and it could be a recipe for disaster.
“Because we had so much rain in the summer and fall, it gives people of Central Texas a false sense of security that we are in the clear, when in fact it does that opposite,” Ortiz said.
Thirteen Pflugerville Fire Department cadets just graduated and have their first days on the trucks this week. Now there are 85 total front line operation personnel to help out in case conditions get extreme. Additionally, there are brush trucks located at every station to help fight wildfires.
Currently there are several burn bans in effect for Williamson County.