AUSTIN (KXAN) — As fire crews continue to work throughout the night to put out a wildfire along State Highway in Bastrop County, a battalion chief with the Austin Fire Department says Saturday’s fire “should be a wake up call for all of us in Central Texas.”
AFD’s Josh Portie says current drought conditions are being seen across the area.
“It’s a lot of the same conditions we’re seeing here,” says Portie. “In an area with a burn scar, where there is a lot of dead and down and heavy vegetation or brush — not much different than what we might find out in west Austin where there’s a lot of dead vegetation that could make putting the fire out more difficult.”
In regards to the Royal Pines Fire, Portie says crews were lucky the fire started later in the afternoon rather than early.
“The sun’s going down, the heat’s going down, the humidity is going up, all those things help fire control efforts. It makes it a lot easier to get a handle on the fire and we hope they can get around the fire and get control of it before tomorrow comes.”
Homeowners who have dense vegetation and brush around their home are encouraged to conduct wildfire mitigation. The Texas A&M Forest Service recommends the down vegetation and tree to be removed. In regards to the trees, they should also be limbed up so that if a fire were to occur the flames wouldn’t get to the top of the tree.
Bruce Woods, who heads the Mitigation and Prevention Department of the Texas A&M Forest Service, shows you in this video what you can do to reduce the wildfire risk around your home.